Quick & Easy Blackberry Jam

Have you ever made your own jam? I did once when I was 16 or 17. I remember it well. We had tons of cherries in our garden and I loved nothing more than cherry jam. It took me a whole day to make ten jars or so. The jam was the best cherry jam I have ever had, but it was a real faff and made an awful lot of mess.

After a couple of weeks, the jam started getting a thin layer of mould on the top. I had sterilised the jars, but with hindsight, I think I had not created a vacuum seal, so bacteria could still get into the jars. Although that jam still brings memories of cherry yumminess, I never considered making jam again. Until last week, that is.

Last Tuesday saw my friend CΓ© and I head to a girly date sans enfants. We were invited to the Good Housekeeping Institute for a preserving course with Ball. We made blackberry and lime jam in twenty minutes or so from start to finish. Very little mess was involved; with some clever tools I had no idea existed.

Quick & Easy Blackberry Jam - Filling in the Jars

There were no arms burnt trying to retrieve hot jars from the oven and after filling our jars, we simply boiled them to preserve. The jam was then ready to be stored for up to a year. The starter kit is a must have if you are considering preserving.

Quick & Easy Blackberry Jam - Taking Jars out

Since last Tuesday, I have been dreaming of blackberry jam, so much so that I asked Hubby to go foraging for blackberries this weekend. Not only would we get homemade jam, but we would make it for free. He went on Sunday morning with Crevette, Beanie and Jumpy. They came back home with a large bucket full of blackberries.

What makes out jam pretty special is that every single family member got involved in one way or another. Wriggly really enjoyed washing the blackberries. Do I need to add that her white pyjamas had to go in the wash straight after?

Quick & Easy Blackberry Jam - Wriggly Washing the Blackberries

I would recommend to always rinse berries in plenty of water with a splash of vinegar to get rid of all the impurities, to drain the water after 10 minutes and leave to air dry on a clean tea towel afterwards.

Quick & Easy Blackberry Jam - Removing Impurities

My intention was to follow the recipe below exactly, but of course I did not have any lime at home, so I went for a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste instead. It worked perfectly!

We started by crushing the raw blackberries and Jumpy really loved this job. We like our jam quite smooth so Jumpy crushed them a lot.

Quick & Easy Blackberry Jam - Crushing the Fruit

After that, there was very little to do other than adding pectin and sugar before cooking the fruit.

Quick & Easy Blackberry Jam - Cooking & Sterilising

We chose to add butter (optional), to prevent our blackberry jam from frothing and give it a nice shine.


Blackberry & Lime Jam (Recipe by Ball)


  • For every 4 jars 240ml, you will need
  • 1 litre blackberries - wash; crush 1 layer at a time with potato masher
  • 7 tablespoons Ball Jam Setting Mix with Pectin 70g
  • 6 cups granulated sugar 1.3kg
  • zest of 1 medium lime
  • 1 teaspoon butter optional


  1. Prepare water bath preserver, jars and lids according to manufacturer's instructions, if preserving.
  2. Clean blackberries by rolling back and forth in an open towel. If dirt is obvious on blackberries, rinse carefully in cool running water and drain thoroughly. Crush blackberries one layer at a time using a potato masher. Measure required quantity of crushed blackberries and remaining ingredients for your recipe.
  3. Prepare fruit and lime zest in a saucepan. Gradually stir in Ball Jam Setting Mix with Pectin. Add butter, if using. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
  4. Add entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
  5. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, one at a time, leaving 1/2 inch (0.65cm) headspace. Wipe rims. Centre lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.
  6. Place filled jars in preserver, ensuring jars are covered by 2.5 to 5 cm of water. Place lid on preserver. Bring water to gentle, steady boil.
  7. Process jars for 10 minutes (adjust for altitude). Turn off heat, remove lid and let jars stand for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seals after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when centre is pressed. Clean and store jars according to manufacturer's instructions.
  9. Quick Tip: Want even less sugar? Try Ball low or No-Sugar Jam Setting Mix with Pectin.

The starter kit makes sterilising the jars much easier and it is perfect if like us, you are new to preserves. We have a small fridge (and a large family), so knowing we can make food in batch with a shelf-life of up to a year is great for saving money, time and still eating good, wholesome food.

Ball have recently launched their home preserving products in Lakeland. I love their jars. They are prettier than regular jars so I also use them for presents or to serve smoothies.

I used a range of jars for our blackberry and vanilla jam. Three of them are preserves, stored in a cupboard and they will be used as Christmas presents. Another jar is already half-empty and we keep it in the fridge, alongside the tiny jars Crevette is taking in his lunchbox to sweeten his Greek yoghurt.
Quick & Easy Blackberry Jam

You could win a Ball Home Preserving Starter Kit!

Quick & Easy Blackberry Jam - Giveaway

How to enter the giveaway:
Check the instructions in the form below. You can pick and choose a range of ways in which to enter. The only one you must click on to get into the draw is the one asking you to leave a blog post comment. You must also leave a comment for your entry to be valid.

Entries are open until 23.59 p.m. GMT time on 6 October 2015. Good luck!
Ball Home Preserving Starter Kit

– The prize will be supplied directly by Ball.
– The giveaway is open to UK residents over 18.
– I was invited to a preserving event hosted by Ball and gifted a Starter Kit. No payment was received. All opinions and photographs are my own.

I have listed this giveaway on ThePrizeFinder, SuperLucky and Loquax.

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  1. I would love to start making my own jam. My auntie makes loads and often gives us a few jars. It is delicious!

  2. traceypeach says:

    I would love to make my own jam because shops only sell the standard sized jam jars which is too much for one person so I could find smaller jars πŸ™‚

  3. Lesley Bradley says:

    Oh I would LOVE this! For so long I’ve been saying I’d like to have a go at making jam.. but never got round to it so this would be just the thing!

  4. I love making jams and jellies. Especially with fruit from the garden.

  5. Your blackberry jam looks delicious Mel, I love the sound of the added vanilla. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  6. I have just made a chutney and it was lovely so jam is next on my to do list

  7. I’ve been making jam for years but the kit seems a handy set of gadgets to save time and reduce mess!

  8. Wow that jam looks amazing!! Well done you. I’ve never needed to make jam cos my granny and now my mum always made it for me πŸ˜‰

  9. melanie stirling says:

    I’d like to win it to use some of the abundance of fruit in my mum and dad’s garden.

  10. I have never made jam before which is sad because we have so many blackberries! That’s why I’d like it.

  11. kellyjo walters says:

    I love homemade jam you can’t beat the flavour

  12. I would really like to make some jam with my daughters, just like my mum used to with me.

  13. Frances Sunshine Hopkins says:

    I’d love to give it a go

  14. laura banks says:

    we have lots of fruit in our garden and it would be lovely to try to do something other than pies

  15. I have made strawberry jam once and it was delicious. It was a bit runny when I made it, but still tasty.

  16. Danielle V says:

    I would love to try and do it – Im a bit scared and I wouldnt have a clue where to start!

  17. ???I used to have damson jam and greengage, so so long since ive had them! ???

  18. Nancy Bradford says:

    My Grandma always canned her own fruits and vegetable and they always tasted so amazing. I’ve always wanted to learn how myself.

  19. Kate Cass says:

    My Mum taught me to make jam when I was small and marmalade. I would love to show Lydia now she is old enough, she loves cooking and she would love making labels. We have sooo many blackberries around at the moment and they all love picking them. Thank you for the chance x x

  20. Sally Collingwood says:

    It would make a lovely gift for my daughter who loves cooking.

  21. ashleigh allan says:

    i would love to start making my own jam and i am sure the kids would too!

  22. I’ve always wanted to preserve my own homemade items and this would be so nice to have, so I can start x

  23. This is why I love your site Mel. You do things so different to most bloggers! You inspire me to try my hand at croissants then you throw homemade jam in the mix. Plus the 10 minute kiddie activities, I love those ideas! I flick them to my friends with kids! πŸ™‚

  24. David Powell says:

    On really fresh crusty bread!

  25. Tracy Newton says:

    I would give this to my friend who loves baking. She is forever baking for charity and school stalls. Plus she loves to treat people to a surprise cake.

  26. iain maciver says:

    would love to try making jam

  27. Kat Glynn says:

    We have plum and cherry trees in our garden, would be nice to make use them other than for feeding the birds πŸ™‚

  28. Sarah Turner says:

    My children really wants me to try and make bramble jam

  29. Paula Readings says:

    Always wanted to make my own jam, every year i say i will and i don’t, this would be a start.

  30. would love to try and make my own jam.

  31. I’ve always wanted to have a go, and this would be the perfect push!

  32. sharon martin says:

    so i can learn how to make my nans recipe for blackberry jelly jam

  33. Susan Hunt says:

    We need to get back to basics and driving to the shops .

  34. Kristen says:

    I had a friend who made the most delicious blackberry jam from berries picked nearby, but she’d moved away, so I know I need to learn how!

  35. gemma brown says:

    i’ve never made my own jam but i do like to go and pick blackberries. how nice to make my own jam with them πŸ˜€

  36. Rhia Page says:

    We’ve had a bumper crop of wild brambles this year- we’re lucky that they grow so close by us, but no one else seems to gather them which is rather sad. So I have a freezer full! It led yo my first attempt at any preserving recently: The whole berries in syrup. Whilst the resulting jars may look like a prop from Professor Snape’s dungeon, they taste absolutely divine on pancakes, or over ice cream! I have been saying for 3 years that I’m going to make my own jam, but still haven’t πŸ™ but I’m obviously gearing up to it eh πŸ˜‰ Thankyou for this post especially, but your whole blog is so friendly and approachable it not only inspires me but boosts my confidence into believing i can recreate some of these things myself. So cheers! X

    • Rhia, this is one of the nicest comments I have read about my blog. Thank you so much! I know that a few people (OK, maybe a couple) other than my mum read my ramblings from time to time, but the thought my little recipes sound easy enough to boost your confidence is amazing! Merci, merci, merci!

      • Rhia Page says:

        Aw yay! I’m glad- and besides, it’s true! After I read this the other night, I had to ask myself just what exactly was stopping me from trying it as I’ve been saying for so long that I’ve wanted to… lack of time? Worried it’ll go wrong and I’ll have wasted all the ingredients? It’s probably a combination of fear and lethargy to be honest :S I don’t have any fancy kit though, do you think I could muddle through without or would you really recommend investing in a few handy gadgets first?

        • You could muddle through really. The kit is perfect for preserving, but if you were to make 4 jars, you could keep one for yourself and give 3 away as presents (rather than preserving them and keeping them in your cupboard). In that case, no need for fancy jars or equipment. You would just need four empty jam jars, which you can sterilise in the oven I think I explained how to do that in my cranberry mincemeat recipe). I would also recommend getting the Pectin from Lakeland (pretty cheap). x

    • Oh by the way, go on, you should make jam; it’s really easy! xx

  37. Karl Borowy says:

    jam will taste so good

  38. I used to work as a cleaner when I was about 15 and the couple used to give us extra hours in the holidays. One of the “jobs” I had to do was pick all of the fruit in the garden and make jam. I liked that job!

    It looks like you had a great day. Seeing this has made me want to go and make some.

  39. Samantha Loughlin says:

    I’d love to win so can teach my daughter to make jam


    My bramble bushes are looking good this year so I should get enough to make some jam – this Ball starter kit would be ideal.

  41. Tania Atfield says:

    Love to make my own jam

  42. I used to “help” my Mum make jam and preserves but I have never tried “all by myself”. It would be nice now I am a grown up not to be scared by the idea of jams anymore – Felicity Smith

  43. Laura Nice says:

    Would love make some blackberry jam! πŸ™‚

  44. Kat Lucas says:

    I love making my own jam and these are so much prettier for gifting instead of left over salsa jars

  45. Judith Allen (@JudeVFR400) says:

    A friend has just made some, and my partner reckons she can make better jam. Her chutney is good, so maybe!

  46. Ruth Harwood says:

    we’ve never made jam and I think it would be a great bonding experience xx

  47. kim plant says:

    for me and my daughter to make together x

  48. I love foraging and some new kit would be fab!

  49. kimberley ryan says:

    We grow a variety of fruits in our garden (black currants, gooseberries etc) that we use to make pies and crumbles with. I would love to ‘have a go’ at making my own jam too

  50. to start canning my own jams

  51. Kay Panayi says:

    Things always taste better when you’ve made it yourself

  52. Tracy Gladman says:

    I have loads of freshly picked blackberries so I can make some nice jam.

  53. buntyw says:

    I have lots of plums!!

  54. Natalie Crossan says:

    I have blackberries growing outside my house on the trees so I’d love to make blackberry jam too πŸ™‚

  55. Because I want to make some jam for christmas

  56. I’d love to start doing my own jam etc but never get around to organising myself, this starter kit would help

  57. aaron broad says:

    I would like to win as would be something nice to do with the family

  58. Gwen Maynard says:

    I love to make jam with my Grandaughter.

  59. I’d love to win the starter kit to make my jam and preserve making cleaner and more efficient.

  60. We’ve crab apples in the garden – would love to have a go at making crab apple jelly


    It’s one of those things I’ve wanted to do, but never get round to looking it.
    At least if I had the kit in theory I have no excuse

  62. Alvina boyd says:

    Loving the prizes

  63. I would love to make my own jam

  64. Alix Smith says:

    I really want to start making my own Sauerkraut & this kit would be perfect!

  65. My Gran always used to make gorgeous jams using the fruit from her orchard but now she’s not up to it (she’s 91 and can’t stand for very long) and a lot of the fruit goes to waste. I’d love to take over the family jam making duties.

  66. Monica Gilbert says:

    I’ve made some jam for short term use, but I’ve always been afraid to try long term preserving.

  67. I would like to make my own jam

  68. I make my own chutneys but always been more nervous about trying jam

  69. Margaret Clarkson says:

    I have a plum tree and would like to have a go at making plum jam

  70. Your jam looks delicious Mel. I am sure it will be polished off in no time. Getting the kids invovled is always a good idea.
    I like that you added vanilla. Star anise works well with blackberries too, as does apple (which also contains pectin itself, incidentally.

  71. Rebecca Allen says:

    This looks like an amazing activity to do with my kids who are total jam fiends! From collecting ingredients for the jam to cleaning and smushing they’d have a lot of messy fun. And I’d have yummy jam at the end of it. I see no downside, lol.

  72. david cavender says:

    for my girlfriend- she wants to have a go making jams

  73. I would love to make my own jam! My mother use to make her own delicious jam when I was a little girl. I would just love remake those sweet memories with my kids!

  74. robyn297 says:

    I’ve always wanted to make preserves. We’ve just moved into a house with some fruit trees, so would be a great time to learn.

  75. Kylie Goldsmith says:

    always wanted to try it, so hopefully this would make me actually do it!

  76. As my mum’s always wanted to try preserving and I think this would be an amazing gift for her!

  77. I would love to make my own jam.

  78. Emma Wolski says:

    I love trying new things and I have never made jam!

  79. Rachel Wise says:

    I have made some BlackBerry jam before but would like to experiment with some other fruit

  80. pete c says:

    having plenty spare fruit from the garden it would be interesting to have a go at preserving it for future use

  81. Have a lot of blackberries in the freezer waiting to be made into jam and this would make it a lot easier

  82. lizzyjanecooper says:

    Id really like to make some jam for xmas presents πŸ™‚

  83. Claire Barker says:

    I would love to try to make chutney.

  84. I would absolutely love to make my own jam. Especially at home with the kids!

  85. Victoria Prince says:

    I would love to win because making my own jams and preserves has been something I have wanted to do for simply ages but never got round to or had the confidence! This would be brilliant, especially as we are moving early next year to a place where we have fruit trees!

  86. Caroline Blaza says:

    I would love to make my own jam x

  87. Anthea Holloway says:

    I would like to win the starter kit because I have a lot of home-grown fruit and it would be ideal for making jam.

  88. I’d love to make my own chutneys

  89. Claire Ward says:

    Because I have always wanted to make jam

  90. I’d like to re-start making jams again.

  91. Trevor Linvell says:

    So I can make some jam for myself and to give to others

  92. Natalie Baugh says:

    I would love to make my own jam with out all the preservatives for my little ones πŸ™‚

  93. Kirsty Black says:

    My children love eating jam so I’d love to make it with them.

  94. I have some blackberries in my garden and would love to preserve them for the winter months!

  95. Lyndsey Jones says:

    I’ve starting doing a lot of jam and chutney making because I have been growing my own fruit and veg. These jars look really stylish and lovely.

  96. Lyndsey Beckford says:

    I’d love to try making my own jam πŸ™‚

  97. kayleigh manning says:

    would love to make my own jam and chutney πŸ™‚

  98. I like making jams and chutneys.

  99. ScarlettB says:

    I would like to start making my own jam and pciking veggies

  100. hannahlig says:

    We have previously borrowed equipment but we now live too far away and we would love to get making!

  101. Hazel Rea says:

    home made jams and chutneys always tastes better than bought – and you know exactly what is in them

  102. A.E. ADKINS says:

    Jam making could be for me.

  103. At least if i make it i know how much sugar is in it as have to watch my intake now – i can experiment with other substitutes to suit me

  104. Diane Nicholl says:

    I’d love to start making jam and this makes it look easy and child’
    s play.

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