Blackberry jam

Make the most of beautifully plump blackberries with this stunning blackberry jam recipe by Karen Burns-Booth, including handy tips on testing the setting point of your jam. This recipe makes enough to fill two 300ml jam jars.

First published in 2016
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I am an avid jam maker, a person who loves to ‘preserve the seasons’ whether that be summer, winter, spring or autumn, and today’s recipe for Blackberry jam is one of my favourite recipes for blackberries, that plump and aromatic berry that is both a summer and autumn fruit.

I remember my mum making jars and jars of this fabulous jam, usually after me and my sister had been ‘brambling’ or ‘blackberrying’ as we used to call it; we would return with bags and bags of these hedgerow berries, and then the hard work would begin, with pies, crumbles and jams being made over the next few days.

But, making jam doesn’t have to be hard, and you can make a batch of jam with as little as 450g (1lb) of blackberries. There are a few basic rules to be adhered to before you start – you need to sterilise your jars and make sure you have lids that fit and will make a seal, but other than that, all that is needed is a large pan, a wooden spoon, a funnel and a ladle, and you can jam in the kitchen to your heart’s content!


Flake test

Dip a large spoon into the pan of jam and scoop out a spoonful. Hold the spoon horizontally over the pan of jam and allow the jam to drip – setting point has been reached when the jam forms a long drip, slightly resembling webbed feet, and hangs without dropping from the spoon.

Cold plate test

Place two or three saucers in the freezer. Once cold, spoon a spoonful of jam onto the cold saucers, and push the jam with your finger. Setting point has been reached when the jam wrinkles and sets.

Temperature test

Place a sugar thermometer in a jug of boiling water just before testing for a set. Lower the thermometer into the jam – setting point has been reached when the reading reaches 104.5°C




Blackberry jam


Place the blackberries and lemon juice in a large pan and simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the fruit is soft
Meanwhile, warm the sugar in a low oven. When the fruit is cooked, add the sugar and stir the sugar and fruit over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved
Turn the heat up and bring the fruit and sugar to a boil, boil for 10–15 minutes until setting point has been reached (see setting point testing notes above)
Once setting point has been reached, take the pan off the heat, spoon any scum off the top of the jam and leave to sit for about 10 minutes
Ladle the hot jam into warm, sterile jam jars and seal immediately with a screw-top lid. Label once cold
First published in 2016

Karen Burns-Booth is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a passion for local, seasonal ingredients.

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