Mixed Berry Jam – Quick and Easy

Mixed Berry Jam - quick & easy, no pectin. mjskitchen.com

 

When it comes to making jam, the days of torturing my feet with a 12 hour day processing the fruit and making 20 jars of the same jam are over.  Now I make jam one jar at a time and as needed or whenever I have a little excess fruit that needs to use before it becomes compost material.  Because we eat a lot of berries, we almost always have a jar of Mixed Berry Jam in the refrigerator.

This recipe for the perfect jar of Mixed Berry Jam is one I’ve been working on since last spring.  I’ve been looking for the ratio of fruits that yielded the flavor of “mixed berries”.  What I mean by that is one of my earlier batches tasted like blueberry jam with a hint of other berries.  Another batch, with matching amounts of blueberries and raspberries, tasted like raspberry jam.  The recipe I’m sharing with today isn’t dominated by any individual flavor. You’ll be able to taste “hints” of each berry used – a little blueberry, a little raspberry and a little blackberry.  If you don’t have blackberries, you can substitute strawberries with the same mixed berry jam result.  Both versions are delicious!


Bowl of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries

 

 

Mixed Berry Jam - quick & easy, no pectin. mjskitchen.com

 

Kitchen Notes

For this recipe, the ripeness of the fruit doesn’t affect the outcome. (As fruit ripens, its natural pectin content drops.) I’ve used underripe and overripe berries in this recipe with the same results.  This is probably due to the fact that berries are not naturally high in pectin to begin with so the level of ripeness has a negligible effect on the pectin level. However, with a little help from a tablespoon of lemon juice and enough sugar, you can still make a jar of jam without adding pectin.  I have found that in most fruit jams, a 2:1 ratio of fruit to sugar (by weight) is perfect.

Strawberry or blackberry – It doesn’t matter.  Bobby and I did a taste test with a batch made with strawberries and one made with blackberries and both batches were delicious. In one batch there was a “hint” of strawberries and in the other, a hint of “blackberries”. The one with the blackberries did have whole blackberries in them which made it a little more difficult to spread the jam on a piece of toast.  However, since I love biting into a piece of fruit in a jam it didn’t bother me that the blackberries stayed whole. All of the other fruits cooked down so it was not as easy to distinguish between blueberries and raspberries.

I’ve never made this jam with all four berries, probably because I’ve never had all four at the same time. But no one should limit themselves to just these berries. I would love to have access to boysenberries, Marionberries or dewberries so I could be jamming with them as well. Just pick a blend using the berries available in your area and have fun!

In addition to this Mixed Berry Jam, I also have a couple of other jams you might like as well as a watermelon rind preserve:

Apricot Jam
Strawberry Jam
Watermelon Rind Candies

 

This Mixed Berry Jam recipe has been shared with Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Hearth and Soul , Carole’s Food on Friday, My Meatless MondaysRecipe Sharing Monday, Clever Chicks Blog Hop  .

Hearth & Soul Hop

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71 Responses to “Mixed Berry Jam – Quick and Easy”

  1. Nads June 13, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

    I’m so happy you came up with this. I have been jamming away this week. Berries have been really cheap so I started with a pint of strawberry and a pint of blackberry jam. Then I noticed 3 pears that had gotten too ripe. Viola! A pint of pear jam. Then I had a bag of red grapes that weren’t very sweet and no one was eating them. I juiced them out and added a handful of leftover blackberries, 10 strawberries, about a cup of frozen strawberries from the freezer and a cup of blueberries from the freezer; the result, a delicious mixed berry/grape jam. Then I looked in the crisper. There was one mango, 3 tangerines that had started getting dry, one orange, one lemon, and 2 apples. This one was amazing! I did have a problem with the timing for a while and cooking them too long. Finally I started judging the cooking time by texture and they turned out fine from then on. Just thought you would get a kick out of this. Love you.

    • mj June 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

      Yes – I did get a kick out of reading this!!!! How did the pear jam turn out. I don’t think pears have a lot of natural pectin, so did you have to cook it don’t for a little bit long to get it to become jam? Love the idea of the using grape juice in place of water! All of the these jams sound marvelous. You’re so smart!!! So how much room do you have left in the fridge? ha ha Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! Love you too!

  2. Ellen Goulart February 28, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    I could not find a mince pie one year around Thanksgiving, so created a pie made with apples, cranberries, ,raspberries, blackberries, and a smidge of orange rind all cooked down together with sugar and made a two crust pie… it was wonderful… I called it my Holiday Harvest pie

  3. Praveen Kumar September 6, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    Love this recipe.

  4. Swathi May 14, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    Delicious mixed berry Jam MJ, I need to make this. My daughter will love this.

  5. Allen @ Cook! Bake! Share! May 14, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    We eat a lot of berries, too. Thank you for sharing this recipe – I have always wanted to try making jams or jellies but have been too intimidated by the process. I can’ t wait to try this in both strawberry and blackberry. Allen.

  6. Judy @Savoring Today May 13, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Great recipe, thanks for sharing on Hearth & Soul Hop. :)

  7. Reese@SeasonwithSpice May 7, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    How nice is that to always have a jar of homemade jam in the fridge! Your mixed berry jam has such gorgeous color, MJ! My mom used to spoil us by making tropical jams for us. Right now, I can only dream that she would courier her homemade jams over since I will never have the time to make jam myself. You got me tempted with jam-making though. May be I can squeeze in some time to make a jar on a rainy summer weekend…Or rather, wish that Mark’s mom would make a jar for us:)

    • mj May 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      Thanks so much Reese! Yes, my mother use to spoil us as well. She ALWAYS had lots of jams, jellies and preserves when we were growing up and even after I got married. We loved visiting and raiding the pantry. Of course, she, like all moms, loved it! Oh Reese – this jam takes no time at all! You can have a jar in 30 minutes. I usually make mine after supper before going to bed. Hope you try it. I think you’ll find it fun and rewarding, because it is nice to always have homemade jam in the fridge. :)

  8. Swathi May 6, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    Delicious mixed berry jam MJ, I am in love that , wish you can send me one.

  9. Laura @ Family Spice May 6, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    Oh how I love jam!!! When my aunt comes to visit she always brings me a jar or two of homemade jam. I love the idea of a mixed berry jam, too. Drooling!

  10. Wine in a Jug May 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Hi, MJ! Thanks for this BRILLIANT recipe! I’ve never made jam since the big batches always intimidated the heck out of me. I’ve got a batch of oranges sitting on the counter that need to be used very soon. Could I sub oranges for the berries? Or even for the lemon juice? I see you mentioned the chemical reaction between the citrus and berries to avoid using pectin. I’m afraid to have a big sticky soup on my hands, but berries are quite pricey here as well.

    • mj May 5, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

      Thanks so much for your comment! Well, you could definitely use orange juice in place of lemon juice with the berries – no problem. As far as substituting the oranges for the berries – that one is tricky. Because of the natural high pectin content of oranges, if you were to follow this recipe as written, yes – you would probably end up with a sticky, stiff jam. However, here’s a suggestion: Remove the rind and the seeds from the oranges and place the pulp in a non-reactive bowl. Try to get about 2 to 3 cups of pulp. Cover the pulp with 1 cup of sugar and let sit overnight. The next day, cook down for about 12 minutes and then test as described in the recipe. Oranges will probably cook down faster than the berries. Test every 2 minutes until done. With oranges I would say to err on the side of undercooking rather than overcooking. I hope this helps. If you try it, please let me know the outcome. Thanks again for stopping by!

      • Wine in a Jug May 7, 2013 at 1:21 am #

        Thank you so much for your reply! My guess is that a first try at jam is going to be a bit of a mess, which is probably why I’ve never attempted it! I will absolutely take your guidelines to heart (though I might “warm up” with the recipe you posted above to get my sea legs about me!) Again, I really truly greatly appreciate your guidance and the great 30-minute jam– I posted to Pinterest to spread the word! :))

  11. Zsuzsa May 5, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    You are way ahead of us Peach Lady! Our trees just flowered. Lovely looking jam must be fruity. What is the shelf life of this jam? Or do you make it for quick consumption?

    • mj May 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      Thanks Zsuzsa! Actually, if kept in the refrigerator, this jam should last a year; however, I’ve never tasted that out because it disappears pretty quickly. :) However, it does need to be refrigerator after you make it.

  12. Nisa Homey May 4, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    I loooove mix fruit jam….the first pic is totally blowing me out…thanks for perfecting this recipe.

  13. Gomo | cHowDivine.com May 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    Ooh, those berries look so good! I love quick, homemade jams. I make mine with frozen fruits; shame on me. :P I’m gonna have to get some fresh berries soon, because your jam looks absolutely delicious!

    • mj May 4, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

      Thanks Darlin! Hey – there’s nothing wrong with using frozen fruit if that’s what you have! I’m just glad that I have such great access to fresh berries. Hope you get a chance to try this.

  14. Ann@Anncoo Journal May 3, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    I just bought a bottle of mixed jam from Mark and Spencer yesterday. Definitely want to try your recipe as homemade is the best!

  15. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen May 3, 2013 at 3:24 am #

    Berries are a bit expensive here, so our jams are usually mangoes, papaya and pineapple. Your mixed berry jam looks so good!~

  16. Charles May 3, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    Hi MJ, I don’t mind making multiple jars at one time. I think it’s well worth the effort and I find it doesn’t take *so* much longer. Still – if you have only one pot then you’re more likely to use it wisely, instead of eating it by the spoonful! :D

    I love the idea of a mixed berry jam – what a great way of using up berries like this. It looks absolutely delicious. I’m hoping to make more berry jams this year, and even when they’re in season raspberries can be quite pricey, so this is a good way of “padding them out” a bit :)

    • mj May 4, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

      Oh Charles – I definitely agree that the long hours of making multiple jars are worth it! I’ve been doing it for over 30 years, but times have changed and lots of reasons for switching to the one jar at a time. From the comments I’ve read, I’ve learned that berries are quite expensive in Europe. Sorry to hear that. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have berries available for cereal, smoothies, munchies, and of course – jam. :)

  17. Terra May 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    I always have extra berries somehow left over in my house. Making a lovely jam would be perfect. Hubby and I enjoy English muffins every morning, so we need fun new toppings like this delicious jam! Hugs, Terra

    • mj May 2, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

      Thanks Terra! Oh this jam would be delicious on English muffins! We have it on bagels and YUM!

  18. ATasteOfMadness May 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    I can’t believe I have never made jam!! This looks so good!!

  19. Vicki Bensinger May 2, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    This is beautiful and what a festive color of deep red. I love jams and the combination you’ve blended together really sounds appealing and so simple. Great recipe. I’ll definitely save this to try later.

  20. Anne@FromMySweetHeart May 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Oh MJ….this DOES look like the perfect jam! The color is beautiful, and of course, your photos are amazing! I’m with you on the one jar at a time. I never got into canning because it seemed too tedious and I was always afraid something would go wrong and I’d end up poisoning everyone! But there’s nothing like fresh, home made jam. So glad you perfected the recipe for us! : )

    • mj May 2, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

      Thanks so much Anne! Too tedious?!?! That’s how I feel about some of your wonderful desserts! I guess it’s all in what one enjoys doing. I think you would be great at making a jar of jam and what you could do with it by incorporating it into your desserts – WOW! I can only imagine.

  21. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles May 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    I’ve only made jam once (my hubby and I made strawberry jam for our June wedding guest gifts :)) so I got a little sample of the 20 hour standing sessions that might go into big batch jam cooking … I’m with you, keep it quick and easy! And if I had to pick a flavor fave, mixed berries would be the one so this recipe has got my name all over it. I can usually find the four berries but whether they are half-dead is another story ;-) – yup, best to pick up what’s in season and looking as fresh as possible usually that’s at least two out of the four. Lovely recipe MJ.

    • mj May 2, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

      Thanks Kelly! What a lovely gift for your guests! Like you didn’t have enough to do already than spending all day making jam. For me it’s hard to decide which I like more – mixed berry or apricot. Both are awesome!

  22. Nancy/SpicieFoodie May 2, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    I love making a jar of jam, since it’s only two of us it’s always one jar at a time. I haven’t made a mixed berry so I’m thrilled you shared your recipe. MJ, I love love your photos!:)

    • mj May 2, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

      Thanks so much Nancy! Yes, with just the two of us, batch jam was overwhelming at times. I’d open the pantry and wonder “What on earth will I do with all that jam?” :) I did give a lot away, but I also made A LOT! I love making just one jar at a time.

  23. I was planning on making a strawberry jam, but since this is your recipe and I can read that you were working on it, I should try.

  24. Liz May 2, 2013 at 5:14 am #

    Can you believe I’ve never made jelly or jam? Your recipe is the perfect one for my debut! Thanks, MJ!!! xo

  25. Giulietta | Alterkitchen May 2, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    Oh, mine! I love mixed berry jam, and jours looks truly amazing! Unfortunately here those fruits are very expensive, and I have to wait this summer for some walk in the mountains to get some cheap ones ;)

    Great job, my friend :)

    • mj May 2, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

      Thanks Giulia! If you could find wild berries – this jam would be awesome!

  26. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies May 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful, MJ! This jam on a thick piece of toast would be a perfect breakfast for me. :)

  27. Soni May 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Such an easy recipe and so delicious looking jam :) Love the color and the texture too!!I love the mixed berries in here that must give it such lovely flavors :)

  28. Viviane Bauquet Farre May 1, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    A simple way to make a wonderful product, MJ!

  29. Nami | Just One Cookbook May 1, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Lovely! We love berries and so happy to live in California this season because of all the fresh berries we get. I am always tempted to buy mixed jam but since each kids need blueberry and strawberry separately, I haven’t really bought mixed kind. After I saw your blog title I realized I could make it myself – mixed jam just for me to enjoy. Very nice recipe, MJ. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Judy @Savoring Today May 1, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    I tend to freeze the berries that don’t get eaten right away for smoothies, but I love the idea of making just one jar of jam and the process sounds quite simple. Thanks for a great recipe, MJ. :)

  31. Ramona May 1, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    I could eat it right off the spoon!! I love berry jams and this looks perfect! :) I love the simple amount of ingredients… .even something I can master. :)

  32. Jennie @themessybakerblog May 1, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    This jam looks perfect. Thanks for doing the leg work and figuring out the perfect ratio. I could sure use some of this topped on my morning yogurt parfait. Yum!

  33. Karen (Back Road Journal) May 1, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    It is nice to have a recipe that will just make one jar of jam. I too have spent hours making a huge pot of jam…a lot of work.

  34. Sissi May 1, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    Lovely jam, MJ and I am glad to see that you are not a fan of sickly sweet half sugar half fruit jams! I wish I could prepare mixed berry jams… Unfortunately, I don’t have a garden and most berries are horribly expensive here. The only berries I use when they are in full season are strawberries. My husband loves strawberry jams. Otherwise, I prepare bigger fruits jams (peaches, apple or pear butter and my beloved plums).
    You will laugh but I actually like spending a whole day or whole weekend making preserves of all kinds. It calms me and somehow the idea of having the pantry full for at least a year is comforting. I have also inherited from my mum the idea that since it does take time, why not make more jars? (I don’t buy fruits by ten kilos though, the way she did!). Jam is quite quick, but my pepper and chili in vinegar or chili jellies take a bit of effort and time and one more jar doesn’t mean twice as much job, so I always prepare at least ten. (Oh, I have forgotten to add that I make a huge mess in the kitchen, so that it’s a good idea to fill more jars at once).

    • mj May 1, 2013 at 10:13 am #

      Hey Girl – I’m not laughing! I use to love spending all day in the kitchen jamming as well. You’re right – it’s very calming and I love having a full pantry; however, I hated the cleanup! Nowadays, I don’t have access to large amount of fruits and I have so many other things I’d rather be doing in the kitchen. I’ve been jamming for a few decades now, so for me, it’s time to move on to something else. :) I have been making some pepper jams recently and love them! It’s fun to experiment with different types of jams. Have a good one Darlin!

      • Sissi May 2, 2013 at 6:13 am #

        I have recently been gradually shifting towards savoury preserves: pickled cucumbers, peppers & chilies, different jellies (chili or chili+something, like pineapple, green tomato etc.), hot sauces, spreads (sweet pepper, chili…) and vinegared salads. I have realised I don’t eat much jams (my husband does, but not often and I did them mainly for my family), so I have concentrated on something I will enjoy almost every day and not just once a month. The only jam I go crazy for is a plum “butter” made for several days without sugar (or a bit of sugar if they are not very sweet).
        I have also started to prepare short-term pickles (kimchi and Japanese pickles, but it’s a bit sad I cannot keep them in the pantry for a year; my fridge will soon explose). The only thing I have discovered is that pickled ginger I wrote about last year can be preserved in a Western way and it even improves! Now I open it and finish a small jar in 5 minutes.
        Actually I think I love also the experimental magical side of pickling and preserving. Ok, sorry, I stop talking. Time to go back to work!

        • mj May 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

          Well I have to say that I do love the pickles, chili oils and many condiments that I have seen come out of your kitchen! So keep them coming Sissi! Bobby and I both still use jam. I love toast and jam and he is a peanut butter and jelly guy. So to not have a jar of jam in the fridge is equivalent to not having green chile in the freezer. It’s a no-no! :)

  35. Raymund May 1, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    This would be so nice with freshly baked bread and melting butter.

    • mj May 1, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      You betcha! Bobby makes his PB&J’s and I make my toast and jam with LOTS of butter! :)

  36. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef May 1, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    Just shoot me in the head. What a good idea. Saves all that work! I love homemade jam but tossing in a few frozen fruits and I’m eatin’ jam!

    • mj May 1, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      Thanks Maureen but NO – I won’t be shooting you in the head. :) I know – this is something you can do while watching an hour long episode of your favorite show. At the end of the hour, even the pot you cooked in will be washed. :)

  37. Choc Chip Uru April 30, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Your jam looks well worth the delicious effort :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  38. ChgoJohn April 30, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    I, too, like making jam and give most of mine away. Even so, being able to make a single jar does have its advantages and I’ll definitely be giving this recipe a try. THanks, MJ.

    • mj May 1, 2013 at 10:03 am #

      Thanks John! Oh I hear ya! Jam makes great gifts! I still give single jars away. :) I do hope you give this a try. It’s delicious!

  39. Suzi April 30, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    MJ. I love stuff in jars ever since the preserved lemons. I need to make this, it looks beautiful and your photographs are outstanding, lady. Miss you!!

    • mj May 1, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Hey Suzi!!! Long time no see! I keep checking your blog, but no updates since November. I miss you too Darlin! We need to touch base through email. I know you have always been one of my number one fans on the preserved lemons, especially the quick preserved lemons. I think you’ll enjoy this jam as well. Take care and let’s connect!

  40. Tessa April 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    I’m definitely going to make this when the blackberries are in season. I love that it is easy and you can make small batches at a time. Great recipe MJ!

    • mj May 1, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      Thanks Tessa! I hope you enjoy!

  41. The Wimpy Vegetarian April 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    I only make one jar at a time now too, unless I’m making some jars for gifts, but there’s nothing like having your own preserves at breakfast. I love anything with berries, and will definitely be making this one!

    • mj May 1, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      Thanks Susan! Having homemade preserves/jams is a must! We’ve tried the storebought stuff and unless you’re willing to pay an arm and a leg for a small jar, you can’t come close to it tasting homemade.

  42. Jen @JuanitasCocina April 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Gorgeous and delicious all wrapped up in one!

  43. john@kitchenriffs April 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    I love homemade jam! And I really like doing it in small batches like this – putting away jars and jars of the stuff is kind of a drag. I’ve not done mixed berries before – super idea! Thanks for showing us the way. ;-) Oh, and that second picture is so pretty!

    • mj May 1, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      Thanks so much John! Bobby took the second picture for me and it is lovely isn’t it?!

  44. Jane April 30, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    I love making jam, and this does sound wonderful!

  45. Debra April 30, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    I kind of enjoy all the cooking down and processing. it makes me feel all pioneer-like! I would love to quadruple this recipe to make multiple jars!

    • mj May 1, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      Debra, I use to enjoy the all day marathons as well and received the same feelings as you do, but I no longer have access to abundance of free fruit and nowadays, I’d rather be making bread. I would not recommend quadrupling this or even doubling it for that matter. My sister tried it a while back and cooking down that much fruit without pectin took forever! :) Thanks for your wonderful comments Debra! It’s always a pleasure.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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