With only 3 ingredients needed, and made in under 20 minutes, this easy-to-make Blackberry Jam is the best way to preserve seasonal blackberries. Rich in flavour from the fresh blackberries, this jam is perfect on toast, dolloped over ice cream or on your favourite scones recipe.
If you're new to jam-making, this recipe is perfect. Small batch in size, you'll learn through my fool-proof method how simple a process it is. Made with only blackberries, lemon juice and sugar, it's fresh and delicious, making it one of the best ways to capture their flavour and essence.
In this post, I'll share with you why we don't need to use pectin, my favourite way to test if the jam has reached the setting point and some useful tips on sterilising your jars.
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Uses basic ingredients. Blackberries, lemon juice and sugar- and that's it. Whether you forage your berries, use store-bought or straight from the freezer - this list doesn't get any simpler.
- Make a large batch. This recipe makes just over a standard jam jar size. But double or triple those ingredients to get the most out of your jam-making session.
- Homemade over store-bought. There's absolutely no denying that homemade jam is better than store-bought. It tastes fresher, less sweet and there are no nasties like preservatives or thickeners in it.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
As you can see from the image below- the list is short, but I've made a few pointers on each ingredient below.
- Blackberries - Fresh blackberries are best to use, making the process of making jam easier. When using store-bought, you don't have the choice- but if foraging for your own blackberries, then pick a couple of underripe ones as they contain more pectic which helps the jam set.
- Sugar - Caster or granulated sugar is used. I know when you see the sugar in the bowl, it may look like a lot, but you need to sugar to allow the jam to set. Reducing the sugar will only hinder your efforts!
- Lemon Juice - Fresh lemon juice not only adds flavour, but the natural pectins found in the juice help the jam to set. Occasionally I add in the lemon zest also which adds a lovely refreshing citrus note to the jam.
- Spiced Blackberry Jam: Add some major flavour into your jam by adding spices into it. Blackberries pair exceptionally well with cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper. Spices add a real Autumnal vibe to the jam.
- Mix up the berries: If you don't have quite enough blackberries, then top up with strawberries or raspberries. A mixed berry jam is truly delightful.
- Apple and Blackberry Jam: Have a few apples to spare? -Then make good use of them by peeling, removing the core and chopping into small pieces. Add them to the jam along with three tablespoons of water. The jam will take longer to bubble away as the water evaporates before it reaches the setting point- but this allows the apples to soften. Add in some thyme leaves for extra flavour!
👩🏻🍳 How to Make
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
In this section, I'm sharing how to turn fresh blackberries into a beautiful jar of sweet blackberry jam. Before making the jam, we'll tackle my two favourite ways to sterilise your jam jars. It's super important if you want to store your jam and not use it right away.
First, place two small saucers in the freezer (tip- this helps see if your jam has set! I'll explain further!)
How to Sterilise Your Jam Jars
My two favourite ways to sterilise jars are in a saucepan or in the oven:
In the oven:
- Heat the oven to 14OC.
- Give the jam jar, lids and any utensils you may be using, like a ladle, a wash in hot, soapy water and rinse off with clean water. Just so you know, if the jar has a rubber ring seal, please remove that and wash it also.
- Place the wet jars on a baking tray and into the oven - remove once the jar is fully dry- this can take about 10 minutes.
In a saucepan:
- Give the jam jars, lids and any utensils you may be using, like a ladle, a wash in hot, soapy water and rinse off with clean water. Note, if the jar has a rubber ring seal, then make sure to remove that and wash it also.
- Place the jar in a saucepan and cover completely with boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Remove carefully from the water and allow to air dry.
Prepare the Blackberries
Storebought blackberries tend to be bigger than those foraged. I prefer to chop these blackberries into small pieces so that they cook quicker and the blackberry pieces left disperse more easily throughout the jam. But this is an optional step.
STEP 1. Slice blackberries. Wash blackberries well in a colander under running fresh water. Remove any leaves, stalks or bruised fruit. Cut blackberries into half or quarters depending on the size of the blackberries (Image 1).
Make the Jam
STEP 2: Mix Ingredients together: In a medium saucepan, add all your ingredients, blackberries, sugar and lemon juice (Image 2) and mix together well (Image 3).
STEP 3. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Over medium-low heat, bring the fruit to a simmer, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved (Image 4). This can take 5 to 10 minutes.
STEP 4. Thicken to jam. Increase heat to medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stirring frequently, allow the fruit to boil for 10 minutes until the fruit starts to thicken. You'll visually be able to see that the liquid has reduced (Image 5).
How To Tell If Your Jam Has Reached Setting Point
STEP 5: Check if jam has set. Alrighty, this is a crazy easy way to test if the jam has cooked for long enough. Remove one of the saucers from the freezer and drop a teaspoon of jam onto it (Image 6). With your finger, make a pass through the jam.
If the two sides of the pass don't move and join back together, then your jam is ready, yay!! (Image 7)
If it does join, continue cooking the jam for a couple more minutes and test again on the other saucer from the freezer.
Alternatively, you can use a thermometer. The jam setting point is 104C/220F - when you reach this temperature, the jam is ready.
Store the Jam
STEP 6: Fill your jar! Ladle the jam directly into your sterilised jar/jars (Image 8). Leave 2 cm room from the top. Tap the jar or use a knife, stirring out any air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jar clean and screw the lid on tight. The jam will thicken as it cools.
Allow to cool fully before storing in the fridge.
🥣 How To Serve
There are so many ways that you can use this incredible jam.
- On toast, crumpets, English muffins, croissants, or pancakes.
- Spread over your favourite crêpes or french toast.
- Use as a filling in sponge cakes or cupcakes. as in my Earl Grey Cupcakes.
- Dolloped ontop a bowl of breakfast yogurt or porridge.
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- Choose fresh blackberries that aren't overripe. Too soft or slightly blemished fruit can cause the jam to spoil.
- A wider base saucepan is best. This allows the water to evaporate quicker from the fruit.
- Use a long-handled wooden spoon. The jam does spit when bubbling, and it's piping hot!
📋 Recipe FAQs
You'll find that most jam recipes contain fruit, sugar and lemon juice. Pectin is needed to help the jam set. You'll find natural pectin in both the blackberries and lemon juice. It's this pectin that allows the jam to set once cooled.
This is totally up to you and boils down to personal preference. If you prefer, mix the fruit, sugar and lemon and bring to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the berries have softened. Pass the mixture through a sieve using a fork to mash the pulp. Return the remaining liquid to the saucepan and continue with the recipe.
❄️ Storage and Freezer Instructions
To store: If jars have been sterilised, store jam at room temperature in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. A pantry cupboard is perfect. Once the jar is opened, then refrigerate and enjoy within 3 weeks.
To freeze: When filling up the jars, make sure to leave 2 cm (1-inch) head space. One the jam is cool, close with a lid securely and freeze for up to 1 year. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
🫐 More Berry Recipes
If you tried this Easy Blackberry Jam or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Easy Blackberry Jam
- 400 g fresh blackberries
- 300 g granulated sugar
- 1 lemon, juice
- Slice blackberries. If your blackberries are large, then slice them into halves and quarters. Place two saucers in the freezer (to be used later on).
- Mix ingredients together. In a medium saucepan add the blackberries, sugar and lemon juice, and mix together.
- Simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Over medium-low heat, bring the mixture to a simmer and stir continuously until the sugar has fully dissolved- can take approximately 5 to 8 minutes.
- Bring the jam to a boil until thickened. Stirring frequently, increase heat to medium and allow the fruit to bubble for 10 to 15 minutes until the fruit starts to thicken.
- Test if your jam has reached setting point. Remove from the heat and place a small dollop on a cold saucer. Push your finger through the dollop and if it feels gel-like and wrinkles then the jam has reached setting point. If it isn’t ready, return the pan to the heat and boil for another five minutes before testing.
- Store. Ladle jam immediately into sterilised jars leaving 2 cm from the top and seal immediately with a screw top lid.
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
This post was originally published in September 2019 but has been updated with new photos, new content and a revised recipe.