Berry Jam

I just finished making this fall's batch of other-than-strawberry jam. I use the same recipe for freezer jam that I do for strawberry, and it turns out great. This year I made raspberry jam, blackberry jam, and as special bonus treat raspberry-blackberry syrup! We haven't eaten the syrup yet but I can't wait to use it the next time we have our new favorite pancakes. I used this recipe and I'll let you know how it tastes once we eat it...

Making any berry freezer jam is easy, but the procedure is a tiny bit different for different types of berries. For strawberry, I wash & hull them, cut them in half, and put them in the blender - pulsing until they're the consistency I want. Usually I completely puree some of them and leave some of them chunky, then mix together for the way I like jam. Raspberries and blackberries are easier because they just need to be rinsed and then mashed in a big bowl with a potato masher, so you can skip the blender step (of course you can still put them in a blender or food processor if you want it; it's probably a little faster but it isn't necessary ~ one less thing to wash). Since raspberries and blackberries are so seedy, this year I strained out part of the seeds. After mashing, I poured about half of them into a wire mesh strainer and forced it through with a spatula. This takes some time and is kind of a pain, so sometime before the next go around I'll buy something like this, which I can also use for homemade applesauce (which I made last year and we LOVE it). Anyway, after straining out some of the seeds (you're left with a nice lump of pulp afterwards to throw away) just mix the strained part back into the mashed berries and continue with the recipe. I took more seeds out of the blackberry since they're bigger. I would say I strained 1/2 of the mashed blackberries and 1/3 of the mashed raspberries and both kinds of jam turned out just right.

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