Every summer the Nafis family harvests blackberries, raspberries and boysenberries from the alley behind their San Diego home. In a few short years, this industrious family has transformed their small clay-packed city lot into a healthy and productive urban homestead. An enormous thank you to Rachel Nafis of Psalter Homestead for supplying this family favorite recipe for mixed berry jam. To read more about their urban haven, click here.
(Adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine)
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries
2 cups boysenberries
7 cups sugar
2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 pouch (3 oz.) liquid pectin
1. Heat jars (I prefer to do this in the dishwasher, but you can also simmer them part way full of water. Jars do not need to be boiled or sanitized). Expect this recipe to make about 8- 8 oz. jelly jars or 4- 16 oz. pint jars, but heat a few extra jars in case your yield is higher.
2. Fill your canner or very large stockpot 2/3rds full with water with a rack in place at the bottom, and bring to a boil over high heat while you prepare the jam. Place jar lids in a small saucepan and gently simmer on low heat.
3. Wash berries and combine them (any 4 cup combination of mixed cane berries works here) in a large stockpot. Mash the berries a little bit using a potato masher, or whatever you can find in the kitchen to do the job. Add lemon juice and sugar.
4. Bring the jam to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Once the boil cannot be stirred down, add the packet of pectin. Continue boiling hard, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Immediately remove from heat and skim off foam. Set aside the foam to eat with tomorrow’s oatmeal.
5. Ladle jam into hot jars leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles (slide a nonmetallic utensil down the side of the jar a few times) and wipe rims with a clean, damp paper towel. Place lids and tighten bands.
6. Gently lower jars into the boiling hot water bath (make sure the water covers all the jars by 1 inch) and cover with a lid. Process for 10 minutes at a full rolling boil.
7. Remove canner lid and turn off heat. After five minutes, remove the jars to rest on a towel and allow them to cool. At this point you should hear the jars popping and sealing. If a jar doesn’t seal (the lid is not concave) then refrigerate and use this jar first. Enjoy your jam on homemade bread, in oatmeal, or on crepes!
READ RACHEL'S URBAN EXODUS FEATURE:
AN URBAN BACKYARD FOOD GROWING HAVEN & FLOWER FARM IN SAN DIEGO