All my happy jam jars getting ready to for storage.

All my happy jam jars getting ready to for storage.

I found blackberries at the farmer’s market yesterday. They were so big and dark, and they called me over to the table with their siren song promise that they would make good jam, especially if I mixed them in with some other summer berries, like blueberries and raspberries. I agreed to take three pints home (oddly enough, the farmer knew I wanted three before I even opened my mouth) and whip up a quick batch of mixed berry jam.

For this I used two pints of blackberries, three 6 ounce containers of raspberries, and enough blueberries to get a total of 5 cups mashed fruit. I followed the recipe for berry jam that came wiht the pectin (5 cups cruched berries, 7 cups sugar, and 1 package of pectin), but I added just a squirt of lemon juice. This filled 7 half-pint jars and left over almost 2 cups to put in the fridge for immediate consumption.

So far this summer I have made strawberry jam, strawberry lemon marmalade, blueberry spice jam, blueberry marmalade, and mixed berry jam (for more complete jam instructions, check out this earlier post: Strawberry Jam Session). My jam shelf is full, and yet there’s more I plan to make! I want some peach jam, and maybe some raspberry jam if I can get out to pick them myself. It’s a lot of work, but Thing 1 reminded me yesterday of why I do it when she remarked on how much she appreciates eating these jams in the dead of winter, when we can’t get local fruit.

Since there’s now so much fresh jam around, we decided to do a little jam tasting this morning. I made some blue corn muffins from the recipe in the Tassajara Bread Book. These muffins come out of the oven smelling like freshly popped popcorn, though they were a little dry and crumbly (maybe next time I’ll add a little more butter or replace the sugar with hiney to fix that). We each cut a muffin in quarters and sampled four jams: blueberry spice, blueberry marmalade, mixed berry, and strawberry marmalade. They were all roll-your-eyes-back-in-ecstasy good, but the blueberry marmalade get extra marks for having the perfect texture to spread on a crumbly muffin.