Homemade Blackberry Jam Recipe


Homemade Blackberry Jam Season – Is it that time of year again?  What better way to preserve the flavor of blackberries than making jam?  I call it  preserving summer in a jar.  My family loves opening a jar of blackberry jam during the long winter months and tasting that hint of summer.

After my daughter’s successful attempt at making Raspberry jam, next on their list was to take on canning Blackberry Jam.  Many lessons were learned from the first jam session which made the second session a much smoother process. Half the battle is to get the rhythm and team work down and to get into the groove of canning. Having everything you need laid out before starting made the process much faster.  Simply put, the more canning you do, the easier and more comfortable it gets with each fruit or vegetable you preserve.

The most labor intensive part of making berry jams is mashing and straining out the seeds.  After spending a considerably amount of time manually removing seeds through a sieve when they made the raspberry jam, this time they decided to use the food processor to pulse the berries into small chunks (such as great time saver!).  The small chunks were then mashed through the sieve, which saved a lot of arm power crushing the berries manually.

The aroma of the blackberries and sugar cooking on the stove was heavenly and the swirling deep purple color was beautiful.

Looking forward to enjoying some blackberry jam on biscuits and waffles this winter!

Check out Linda’s Butters, Condiments, Sauces, Relish and Jelly Recipes for more great ideas.


Homemade Blackberry Jam


Homemade Blackberry Jam Recipe - How To Make Blackberry Jam:
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Homemade Blackberry Jam Recipe, How To Make Blackberry Jam
Servings: 9 cups
  • 5 cups prepared fresh blackberries  (About 7 cups whole blackberries)
  • 7 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 (1 3/4-ounce) package/box fruit pectin*
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter (optional)
Equipment Needed:
  • Large boiling water canning pot with rack
  • 6 to 8-quart non-reactive saucepan
  • Canning jars
  • Lids with rings - Rings are metal bands that secure the lids to the jars. The rings may be reused many times, but the lids only once.
  • Jar grabber
  • Jar funnel
  • Large spoon and ladle
  1. Jam can ONLY be made in small batches at a time (about 6 cups at a time).  DO NOT increase the recipe or the jam will not "set" (jell or thicken).

  2. Preparing the equipment:  Before you start preparing your jam, place canner rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner.  Fill the canner half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.  Wash jars, lids, and rings in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water.

  3. Sanitize the jars, lids, and rings. Never plunge room temperature jars into rapid boiling water or they may crack.  Place the jars in a large pot.  Add 1-inch of water to the bottom, cover securely, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.  Keep the jars, lids, and rings in the hot water until they are ready to by used.

  4. Preparing the blackberries:  Gently wash, stem, and drain the blackberries (removing any stems, cores, dried-up berries, and leaves).

  5. Crush the blackberries with a potato masher, food mill, or use a food processor (If using a food processor, pulse to very fine chop) to lightly crush them.  For best results, crush 1 cup at a time.  DO NOT PUREE.  Jam should have bits of fruit.  Sieve all the pulp to remove the seeds.  You can keep some seeds in for effect, but I would not recommend for blackberry jam since the seeds are hard on the teeth.

  6. straining the blackberries

  7. Making the jam:  Measure the exact amount of sugar into a separate bowl; set aside.  NOTE: Reducing sugar or using sugar substitutes will result in failure for the jam setting up.  To use less sugar, you must purchase and use the pectin for Less Sugar or No Sugar.

  8. stirring jamMeasure the exact amount of prepared blackberries (juice) into a large 6 to 8-quart saucepan.  Stir in 1 package/box fruit pectin into the blackberry fruit mixture.  Add the 1/2 teaspoon butter to reduce foaming, if desired.

  9. Over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  A full rolling boil is a boil that does not stop bubbling when stirred.  Quickly stir in the sugar and return again to a full rolling boil and let boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly.

  10. If you bring it back to a full boil fairly slowly (on medium heat rather than high) that will help reduce foaming.

  11. Remove from heat and quickly skim of any excessive foam/bubbles.

  12. Place jam into the jars:  One jar at a time, ladle the hot prepared jam into the hot, sterilized jars.  Fill to within 1/8 inch of top of jar.  Wipe rim of jar or glass with a clean damp cloth. Immediately place a hot lid and ring on top of the jar; tightly screw the ring on the jar.

  13. Processing the jam:   Place jars on the elevated canner rack.  Lower rack into the canner with the hot water.  Add more boiling water, if needed, so the water level is at least 1 inch above the jar tops.  Pour the water around the jars and not directly onto them.  Cover the canner with a lid.  Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (start time when the water returns to a boil).  Adjust processing time according to altitude chart below.

  14. After 10 minutes, remove jars with a jar lifter and place jars upright on a towel or cooling rack to cool completely.  Leave at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling.  Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.  Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, from 12 to 24 hours.  Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until the jar is completely cooled.

  15. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with your finger (if lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary).  Put any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use first.

  16. Label jars and store the sealed jars in a a cool, dry, dark place up to 1 year.  Refrigerate any open jars up to 3 weeks.

  17. Yields 9 cups.

  18. Altitude Adjustments for Boiling Water Bath Canner:

  19. Altitude In Feet - Increase Processing Time

  20. 1,001 to 3,000 - 5 minutes

  21. 3,001 to 6,000 - 10 minutes

  22. 6,001 to 8,000 -15 minutes

  23. 8,001 to 10,000 - 20 minutes

  24. There are a number of circumstances that affect whether or how well your jam sets:

  25. Pectins are somewhat sugar amount specific.  Also liquid pectins do not set up as well as powdered.  Use only the type of pectin called for in your recipe.

  26. Powdered pectin and liquid pectin are not interchangeable in recipes.  The preserving books seem to confirm that the reason liquid and powdered pectin may not be interchangeable is that the liquid version is always added after boiling but most types of powdered are added to the raw fruit or juice.

  27. Never EVER double a jelly or jam recipe. For some reason, this effects the setting.

  28. If your jam does not set, chances are it contains too little pectin.

  29. An imbalance between the pectin and the acid in your jelly.  Adding a little lemon juice helps the pectin, and also helps create an environment hostile to bacteria.

  30. High humidity in the kitchen can cause problems with jam and jelly.

  31. Finally, you can defeat the whole purpose of adding pectin if you boil the mixture too long - overcooking causes the pectin to break down and lose its thickening capacity.

Recipe Notes

* Pectin is a natural substance found in fruit that enables fruit juice to set up and form a gel.  Pectin is available at grocery stores, especially during the canning season of spring through late summer.

Complete Guide To Home Canning, United States Department of Agriculture, Preparing and Canning Jams and Jellies.
Kraft Sure-Jell website, Kraft Corporation, How To Make Cooked Jam.
National Center for Home Food Preparation, Using Boiling Water Canners, Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist,Department of Foods and Nutrition,


Comments and Reviews

26 Responses to “Homemade Blackberry Jam Recipe”

  1. Sharon

    I have made double batches of all kinds of jam. I just add another l/3 pkg. of powdered pectin. Always jells just fine. I also add 2 tbsp. of lemon juice to the blackberry jam to cut the sweetness.

  2. Kelly

    So delicious! We picked fresh berries and made this today! Blackberry is my favorite and this blows store bought out of the water!

  3. Michelle B.

    I made this exact recipe yesterday, (not from this site) and I ended up using JUST under 6 cups of sugar, mine set up just fine, in fact, it’s much thicker than I thought it would be! It’s absolutely wonderful!!

  4. Phyllis

    I made this with blackberry juice. Turned out great!

  5. Kristin Rathjen

    What I can’t determine is what is the “exact amount of prepared blackberries?” You start with 5 cups of fresh blackberries, then smash them and remove the seeds and much of the pulp. But I can’t find the measurement of the “prepared blackberries” although you caution about changing the ratios even a little.

  6. Mark Davenport

    Yes, the way they list the ingredients is confusing. Buy about 4- 12 ounce containers of blackberries to get about 5 cups of juice. (your farmer’s market berries will taste waaayyy better) and screen out the seeds, etc from most of the berries and you should get about 5 cups of juice w/ some seeds so it looks good in the jar. Cut the sugar by two cups and use the low sugar/no sugar pectin.

  7. Kendell

    I just prepared this recipe with 5 cups of fresh blackberries as the ingredients says and the jam thickened like fruit roll-ups. Uggh! The instructions should be more specific as to how much juice there should be. I just wasted half of this years yield. And after reading other recipes, you don’t need that much sugar, 50/50 all the way down to 1-1/2 cups. Anyway, I believe it should read 5 cups of fresh blackberry juice.

    • Nancy

      This recipe is for making Blackberry Jam, if you want to make JELLY, then you would use only the juice.

      When making jam you use 5 cups of the entire crushed product, which is the remaining pulp, minus the seeds.

      The recipe has specific instructions on preparing the berries to make jam:

      Preparing the blackberries: Gently wash, stem, and drain the blackberries (removing any stems, cores, dried-up berries, and leaves).

      Crush the blackberries with a potato masher, food mill, or use a food processor (If using a food processor, pulse to very fine chop) to lightly crush them. For best results, crush 1 cup at a time. DO NOT PUREE. Jam should have bits of fruit. Sieve all the pulp to remove the seeds. You can keep some seeds in for effect, but I would not recommend for blackberry jam since the seeds are hard on the teeth.

      As far as the sugar, you would need to use a low sugar pectin if you want to reduce the amount of sugar you use in the recipe.

      Also cooking time can make a difference on how your JAM sets up. If it is too thick it may be overcooked.
      Hope this helps.

  8. Chris

    Yeah we can read that the recipe says jam. Thank you. I agree that recipe is not clear. 5 cups of fresh blackberries is exactly what the words say. 5 cups of blackberries. I’m glad I didn’t ruin my blackberries with a poorly worded recipe. Thanks for letting everyone else know.

    • Nancy

      I would love to help make this recipe easier, how would you word this differently?

      • Nancy

        How about this, I added the following to the 5 cups of fresh blackberries, “5 cups prepared fresh blackberries (About 7 cups whole blackberries)

  9. Carole Oneal

    I recently moved to Washington there are tons of Blackberry bushes, so I thought what the hell let’s make jam. Found your recipe followed it came out perfectly! Easy to understand easy to read and easy to follow thank you very much !

    • Nancy

      Glad you liked it, Blackberry jam is the best, well next to Raspberry. The hardest part about making Blackberry Jam is picking the darn berries!

  10. Barb Fox

    Why do you have to boil the jam folled jars? Ive always ladle the jam in jars & tigten lids

    • Nancy

      The jars and lids are boiled to sterilize them.

  11. coral

    it was easy to understand some people just won’t get it 7 cups makes 5 cups

  12. Lisa L

    I’m new to canning, so new that I’ve never done it. I have a huge crop of blackberries this year and I want to try to make jam. Or jelly, whatever you call it the one that uses the fruit and not the juice. My question is, why do I need to remove the seeds? I’m eating the fresh blackberries every single day and the seeds do not bother my teeth at all. Do the seeds harden up during the process of canning them? There are nutrients in the seeds and fiber which gets wasted it’s removed. Not to mention I don’t know how I would remove the seeds since I don’t have any canning equipment. Also do I have to use the amount of sugar listed or can I reduce it? My blackberries are very sweet and probably don’t need any sugar at all. I don’t want to mess up my first attempt so any advice would be appreciated

    • Nancy

      Lisa, making Blackberry jam was my first adventure in canning too! The most important thing you need to do is follow instructions exactly. If you want to reduce the sugar in a recipe, be sure to buy a low sugar pectin and follow the instructions in the pectin box. Your question on seeds, you do need to get some canning equipment. Go to Goodwill or any other thrift store and you will find a lot of canning equipment. One thing you should get is the sieve, which you use to mash the berries, and separate the seeds. You won’t be removing all the seeds unless you make a jelly. If you choose to leave in all the seeds, it will be exhausting eating the jam. It’s up to you! Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

  13. John

    Made recipe as stated. The end product result is to thick. Cut back on the sugar and most likely the pectin. This black berry jam set like a brick!

    • Whats Cooking America

      This is a tried and true recipe for us. If you cut back on the sugar, then you need to make sure to use a low sugar pectin. That cam impact your results.

  14. Noella Dodson

    The core…is removed…is that the center of the blackberry…that holds it all together…so then you are just using the small little round berries….and then removing the seed?…that doesnt leave much left…. I’m a first time cooking them…thank you

    • Nancy

      The core can be bitter, and some people like to pull them out. When you work it in the sieve you will see the fruit and the core separate.You can pull them out if you prefer.

  15. Dianne

    can you use a pressure canner instead of a water bath canner

    • Nancy

      I haven’t used a pressure canner so I can’t answer that question for you. A water bath is pretty easy though, and less worry about working under pressure. Please check out your local extension agency for canning instructions. -Nancy

  16. Darrell

    No need to pressure cook.
    With the water-bath, it’ sterile.
    Just tighten the lids before the open water-bath and you’re good.
    Tighten the lids then do the open bath.
    Pressure cooking takes way too long. Save that for meat and others that aren’t tart. (Higher pH). Get a pH meter if you are unsure.
    Can with vinegar if you’re going with peppers. There’s lots of recipes out there. Have fun and get a meter.
    They’re cheap.

  17. Donna

    I tried this recipe, and let me tell you it was one of the easiest recipes EVER…I made 2 batches, because I have over 5 gallons of black berries. So the first batch by the book, wonderful, now the second batch I put a twisted in it, 2 dashes of cinnamon and on of all spice…Wow that made it pop. Thank you for taking the time to pass this wonderful and simple recipe on.


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