Whip up one jar of delicious wild blackberry jam in just a few minutes with this simple and quick recipe! Wild Blackberry jam goes great on fresh biscuits, toast, pancakes, yogurt, and baked brie.
IMPORTANT PLEASE READ: This recipe is perfect for those who want to pick 2 cups of wild blackberries, make one jar of jam in just a few minutes (not a ton of cooking time), and consume that one jar within the week. There is no canning, freezing, straining of seeds, or sealing of jars involved. My recipe uses sugar, gelatin, lemon juice, and berries. I will cover substitutes in the post, but this is what has been tested and works well for my family. There are a zillion jam recipes online, so feel free to Google another if this isn’t what you’re looking for! I have not used this recipe with other berries so can’t attest to whether it works perfectly with other fruit.
This jam sets up to more of a jelly-like consistency in the refrigerator making it less spreadable. We like to heat ours up a tad in the microwave before use because we like it warm on pancakes. If you prefer a runnier jam, feel free to use the lesser amount of gelatin, or replace gelatin with cornstarch. We also don’t mind the seeds at all, and keeping them in the jam is actually good for you! Blackberry seeds contain omega 3 and omega 6 fats as well as fiber. Enjoy!
We have some wild blackberries growing around the perimeter of our yard, and this year I decided it would be delightful to create a one jar recipe for delicious wild blackberry jam! So many recipes I found online call for large quantities of berries, but what if you just want to pick two cups of wild berries and make one small 8 ounce jar and be done with it? This recipe is for us! Our wild blackberries are pretty tart and flavorful, making them perfect for jam. I’ve tried this recipe several times this summer, so it should turn out well for you. I haven’t tried it with any other berries besides wild blackberries, so if you decide to experiment with store-bought berries you may need to reduce the sugar.
Where to Find Wild Blackberries
If you don’t have wild blackberries growing on your property, you can often find them along the edges of overgrown fences, on country highways, and on the edges of woods. They prefer sunny areas so you will often find them growing in prairies, or along a forest’s edge. You won’t typically find them under heavy tree coverage. They grow as brambles, typically low to the ground. We placed this one brambly vine over a tree limb to make it easier to pick from. Wild blackberries can be difficult to reach!
How to Determine What Kind of Berries You Found
Mulberries, wild black raspberries, and wild blackberries indeed look similar. If you go to my TikTok you will see a big debate in the comments on what kind of berries these actually are. Mulberries grow on trees while wild blackberries grow in brambly thickets. Wild black raspberries will have a hollow core, while blackberries will have a white core. These berries are growing in brambles, not trees, and have a white core. If you’re ever in doubt at all about a wild berry, I highly recommend using the app Picture This to determine exactly what kind of berry you are picking. The app allows you to take a picture of the plant in question and immediately identifies the plant for you. Here is my pic and what came up in the app:
Gear Up When Picking
Wild blackberries are thorny and often difficult to get to. Where protective clothing and be mindful of bugs. We have chiggers here in South Carolina, and they love to hang out with my blackberries. Animals also enjoy eating blackberries, so be mindful in areas where you have bears. I make some noise before picking because our neighbor recently spotted a bear in my driveway!!
Pick Only Ripened Berries
For best results, try to pick only fully ripened wild blackberries. Fully ripened blackberries will be a very dark blue-black, or purple color. They should easily pull from the vine, and the berry segments should be full and juicy instead of tightly bound. Wild blackberries tend to be smaller in size than your garden variety, but some can be quite large and plump. If the berry is ripe, size doesn’t matter.
To make one 8 ounce jar of jam you will need to pick two cups of ripened berries.
Thoroughly Clean Your Berries
Using a colander, give your berries a good rinse in cool water. I also like to soak my berries in 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for 10 minutes to rid the berries of any hiding bugs. Rinse the berries again to rinse off any remaining vinegar (and bugs!) and drain thoroughly. Transfer to a saucepan.
Recipe for Wild Blackberry Jam
- 2 cups wild blackberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons to 1/2 Tablespoon gelatin (use less for a more spreadable jam) *You can substitute an equal amount of cornstarch in place of gelatin. May produce a runnier jam.
- 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
Step 1: Combine wild blackberries with 1/2 cup sugar.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine your berries and sugar and stir until well-combined and sugar begins to melt with the blackberry juice. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. I’m guessing you can use a powdered sugar substitute, but I have not tried it with this recipe. When I was keto, I did make a similar keto raspberry jam using erythritol.
Step 3: Bloom your gelatin with lemon.
Unflavored gelatin is made from collagen and is used as a thickening agent. It can typically be found in the baking aisle or spice section of your grocery store. “Blooming” the gelatin by mixing the powder with lemon juice, helps it dissolve better into your recipe and allows it to be evenly combined. While your blackberries cook, combine 2 teaspoons up to 1/2 tablespoon of gelatin with 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice and let stand for a few minutes. I don’t typically measure the lemon juice but just add enough to create a gel that can be broken apart into small bits and distributed into the simmering fruit. Use fresh lemon juice if you prefer.
If gelatin is not an option for you, you can try cornstarch, fruit pectin, or tapioca powder in its place. I have only tried cornstarch and it works but it most likely will make a runnier jam–more like a syrup. You may just need to cook your fruit longer to release the natural fruit pectins if choosing to go this route. You may also skip an additive all together and just cook your fruit until it thickens up.
Step 4: Stir lemoned gelatin into blackberry mixture and bring to boil.
Allow the mixture to come to a boil and simmer for another five minutes to thicken the jam. If you prefer less whole berries present in your jam, crush the berries with the back of your spoon.
**Strain seeds here if desired. I do not bother!
If seeds just ruin it for you, this is where you will strain them out. Use a fine mesh metal sieve over a bowl and pour the hot jam into the sieve. Stir, stir, stir, and stir some more until the jam separates from the seeds and runs through to the bowl. Discard the seeds in the sieve and proceed to the next step with the remaining jam.
Step 5: Store in an airtight container and refrigerate when not in use.
My family goes through a jar within a few days, so you shouldn’t have any trouble using it all before it goes bad! To be on the safe side, I recommend consuming the jam within the week. If you’re not able to eat it right away, it should freeze just find.
I like to eat mine on fresh biscuits and as a topping for greek yogurt. My boys enjoy theirs every morning on pancakes. It is also wonderful on baked brie, or drizzled on crostinis topped with goat cheese. Let me know if you try it and thanks so much for stopping by!
- 2 cups wild blackberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons to 1/2 Tablespoon gelatin (use less for a more spreadable jam)
- **You can substitute an equal amount of cornstarch in place of gelatin. May produce a runnier jam.
- 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
- Combine clean blackberries with sugar in saucepan over medium heat
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring until well combined and sugar melts with blackberry juice
- Boom gelatin by combining gelatin and lemon juice, break into pieces
- Stir in boomed gelatin pieces into blackberry mixture
- Bring to boil and cook for five minutes
- Remove from heat and pour into 8 ounce jar.
- Store in refrigerator and consume within seven days
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