Don’t get into a jam while making jam

By Jim Bailey

Many of you may “put up” vast amounts of jams or jellies during the fall, but let me warn you about one mistake often made.

I never make more than a 6-cup batch at a time, because any more and the pectin has difficulty setting up.

As we all know, pectin’s worst enemy is heat and by making more than 6 cups at a time, the longer your jam or jelly is on the stove, cooking away. This of course results in the pectin is taking on heat more than it should.

6 cups blackberries, rinsed and drained well*
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 (1.75 ounce) package dry pectin

Put blackberries into a large saucepan and mash well.

Stir in pectin and bring to a boil over high heat, constantly stirring when starting to boil.

Stir in the sugar, honey lemon juice, continue boiling for 1 additional minute, constantly stirring.

Remove from heat, skim off any noticeable foam and let cool 30 minutes.

Ladle in prepared containers, cover and let cool in refrigerator.

*If the blackberries are just ripe, no pectin will be needed but if you see that the blackberries are quite soft, follow recipe.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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