Blackberry Jam without Pectin

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Blackberry Jam without pectin spread on a piece of toast on a white plate with a jar of blackberry jam in the background.

I have decided to try my hand at Blackberry Jam without Pectin. I just don't want to feed my kids all the extra junk in the pectin products. 

I also like to save money since jam is so expensive, even from Costco. The triple bonus is I know what I have put into my own jam and know exactly what my children are eating, no extra junk or fillers.

I can control the amount of sugar added and it's just good ole organic jam. 

To be totally honest nothing taste better then homemade jam, especially when it's cold outside and the fruits of summer are long gone, you can pop open a can of jam and spread it on a nice buttermilk biscuit or drop a spoonful in your tea, the taste of fresh blackberries fills your mouth and brings a small remembrance of summer.

Washed Canning jars on a kitchen towel.

I wash all my canning jars, lids and rims by hand in hot soapy water and rinse very well before I start canning. 

Even if the jars have come out of the dishwasher, and especially if they are new. 

Then place desired number of jars into a large canning pot or just a very large pot with boiling water.

Blackberries in a white plastic colander.

Wash blackberries very well removing all debris. 

I use a large bowl and swish them around in the water, drain and repeat until clean. 

Measure 7 cups of berries. 

I use ripe berries, not under ripe or over blackberries and they seemed to set well. 

I would avoid berries that are over ripe as they lose natural occurring pectin when they are over ripe.

3 cups Blackberries in a measuring cup.

Set a side 3 cups of berries. 

At this time I place a plate into the freezer to become cold. Also place a small saucepan on a burner with water and bring to a boil.

Blackberries being mashed.

This step is optional other wise just mash the 3 cups berries with a potato masher and add to sugar.

I like to run my 3 cups of berries I set aside through a sieve to remove half of the seeds.

Blackberry Pulp stuck to the wood mashing stick.

I am able to tell when I have removed most of the juice when the the pulp sticks to the pestle.

Sugar being added to the blackberry juice.

I place the juice from the berries, all of the sugar and lemon juice into a big stock pot and bring to a boil.

Blackberry and Sugar in a stainless steel pot.

Mix until it looks smooth and sugar start to dissolve.

Cook over medium heat until mixture starts to boil.

Blackberries being poured into blackberry sugar mixture.

Add remaining 4 cups of berries. 

I like to keep the berries still intact and not over cooked, so I add them once the sugar mixture boils.

Blackberries being mashed in pot.

Mash half of the berries or more dependent on how smooth you like you jam. The more mashing the smoother the jam.

Blackberry Jam boiling.

Bring mixture back up to a boil and cook around another 13 minutes. 

Once jam has been cooked long enough almost all foam will subside and the jam will become a nice rich glossy color.

Blackberry Jam on a cold plate.

Place a little bit of jam on the cold plate from the freezer and place back into the freezer for 1 minute.

Thickened Blackberry Jam on a blue plate with the center divided.

Run a finger through the middle of the jam. 

At this point you should be able to tell if it needs to be cooked longer, if the jam runs continue to cook. 

If the jam stays apart like the picture it will continue to thicken once canned and it has sat for a day.

Canning jar lids in a water.

Remove saucepan from the burner and place lids into hot water.

Canning jar being removed from canner.

Remove 1 jar from the canner or large pot and set next to an area set up to fill the jars.

Canning Jar being filled with Blackberry Jam.

I use a canning funnel with a plate underneath and leave 1/4 inch head space from the top of the jar.

Cleaning rim of canning jar filled with blackberry jam with a damp cloth.

Wipe the rim clean with a damp clean cloth.

Blackberry Jam topped with lid.

Remove lid from hot water and place on top.

Blackberry Jam jar sealed with a lid.

Seal with rim until finger tight. Do not over tighten. 

I use a cloth to hold the hot jar and the lid to tighten. 

Place back into canner or large pot. Boiling water needs to cover the top of the jars by 2 inches. 

Repeat with remaining jars working quickly. 

When all jars have been done, process in boiling water for 10 minutes. 

Remove  jars from canner and place in an area undisturbed for 24hours. Jam thickens as it sets. 

The cans will "pop" as the jars seal with in the first few hours of being removed from the canner. Do not be alarmed.


Homemade Blackberry Jam is delicious on toast or to use as a filling! The possibilities are endless.

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Yield: 60 ounces
Author: Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
Blackberry Jam without Pectin

Blackberry Jam without Pectin

Homemade Blackberry Jam without Pectin recipe is a favorite way to preserve blackberries from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch.
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 55 Min


  • 7 cups Blackberries, ripe but not overly ripe
  • 5 1/2 cups Sugar ( I use Organic to make Organic jam)
  • 3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • Jelly Jars to hold 60 ounces of Jelly and lids with bands


  1. Never double this recipe or jam might not set correctly. Only make 1 batch at a time.
  2. Wash and rinse all canning jars, lids and bands in hot soapy water. Rinse well.
  3. Wash berries well and remove any debris.
  4. In a large canner or a very large pot fill with water and bring to a boil. Water will need to be able to cover glass jars by 2 inches when sealed. Add clean jars to the pot.
  5. In a small pot bring water to a boil.
  6. Place a small plate in the freezer to check consistency of jam.
  7. Remove 3 cups of the berries and place in a sieve with pestle to remove the seeds. Smash until juice has been removed. Alternately you could smash the 3 cups berries with a potato masher and run through a fine strainer to remove seeds or if you like the seeds smash the fruit well with the potato masher and use like the 3 cups berries seeds removed. Do not blend your berries, it will destroy the natural pectin.
  8. Place the juice from the berries into a large stock pot. Add all of the sugar and lemon juice. Mix together and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the mixture boils add remaining 4 cups of berries and smash half or more with a potato masher, dependent on how chunky you like your jam. The more berries you smash the smoother the jam. Return berries to a boil and cook for about 13 minutes. Jam is about done when foaming has subsided and jam becomes a rich glossy red color. Take the plate from the freezer and place a large dollop of jam on the plate and place back into the freezer for 1 minute. After a minute run a finger through the jam. Jam is ready to be canned when juices from the berries stay separated and don't run. Jam will still be a bit thin but not runny. If jam is still runny continue to cook checking every minute for set with plate from the freezer.
  9. In the small pot with boiling water, remove from heat and add lids.
  10. Remove a jar from the canner and place on a clean work surface. Fill jar using a canning funnel. Leave 1/4 inch head space from the top of the jar. Clean the edge of the jar to remove any jam with a clean damp cloth. Cover with a lid from the small pot and seal with a rim, until finger tight. Place back into the canning pot and repeat with all the remaining jars. Make sure the water in the canning pot is boiling and there is enough water to cover jars by at least 2 inches.
  11. When all the jars are back into the canning pot process for 10 minutes covered.
  12. Removed jars to an area they can rest for 24 hours undisturbed.


If I don't have enough jam to fill a jar all the way I place that jar in the fridge and it is the first jar to be eaten. Jar lids will make a popping noise as the jars seal do not be alarmed. Never double this recipe or it might not set correctly. Work in single batches.

Nutrition Facts





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Calories are estimated.

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Homemade Blackberry Jam without Pectin recipe is a favorite way to preserve blackberries from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch.


  1. Your blackberry jam looks perfect! I am with you...nothing compares to anything homemade! It's always the best!

  2. Oh I LOVE home made jams. This looks delicious. And, I love your backsplash. (I know, completely off subject.)

  3. Hm. This is inspiring me to hunt for blackberries in the forest. I LOVE it! Love that you also use less sugar and no pectin, Madame. Wonderful.

  4. Can I replace the sugar with honey?

    1. I am not sure if honey would work.. I have never tried it before. If you where going to try it out I would reduce the recipe in half or you might have a lot of syrup... If I happen to try this later in the season I will update the recipe!

  5. Made a batch of jam this evening and it turned out wonderfully perfect!
    I have so many big juicy Himalayan blackberries in the backyard this year.
    Really appreciate that you shared this well written, easy to understand recipe :)

  6. Can you use frozen blackberries?

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Frozen Blackberries will work! Have a wonderful week!

  7. Serena, just made the blackberry jam yesterday. I opened a jar up this morning and it was hard. I followed your recipe but I think the 13 minutes must be way too long. The berries are just way overcooked. I cooked this on medium heat just as you said. Please tell me what could have gone wrong.

    1. Hi, I am really not sure what might have happened for the jam to become hard. Do you happen to be at a high altitude? Did you test the jam on a plate on the freezer before canning? Was it hard then? I'm sorry for your jam, don't give up it just might need a few tweaks for your stove top..

  8. Hi-
    Do you not need lemon juice for acid content when canning this jam? sounds yummy, i'm going to try making it with frozen berries from the summer.

    1. Hi, No lemon needed but you could add some if your berries are really ripe just to brighten the flavor. Have a wonderful week!

  9. Hi again-
    I made the jam yesterday afternoon, and 20+ hours later, it is still quite runny. Any idea as to weather or not it'll set with alittle more time?

    1. I didn't can this year due to a car accident but I do believe it thickened up as it sat the previous year over the following days. Since it's sat close to 24 hours you could slip the can you popped open into the fridge to see if thickens.


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