Laena McCarthy’s 3’s Company Triple-Berry Jam

Listen to the interview.

Laena McCarthy is the author of Jam On: The Craft of Canning Fruit. If you think it’s about the kind of canning your grandma did, here’s a hint: Laena’s website is Anarchy in a Jar. com and she’s canning things like Spiced Beer Jelly and Pickled Blueberries.
She joined me on Amy’s Table to talk about canning myths, tips and ideas.  Here’s more, from Laena:

“With blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries—oh my! It’s simply delicious, triple-berry perfection. This is a toast-perfect jam, with a great mix of sweet and tart flavors. It’s perfect for those who love pure fruit flavor and an easy eating jam. Kids love this, too. I have a few young jam fans who visit my market booth every Sunday with their parents so they can buy a new jar. This is a fast and simple jam to make, and a great one to start with if you’re a novice or if you’re making jam for picky eaters. If you prefer a more tart or sweet flavor, you may adjust the sugar ratio by a half cup less or more, respectively.”


For the berries:
Rinse the berries and remove their stems. Measure the fruit into a 6- to 8-quart nonreactive pot and add the lemon juice and the proper amount of calcium water into the pan; stir well.
For the jars and lids:
Wash and rinse the jars; put them into a big stockpot; cover the jars with water and bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let stand in hot water until you are ready to fill. Bring the lids and rings to a boil; turn off the heat. Let stand in hot water until you are ready to screw them onto the jars.
Place a few metal spoons in the freezer for testing the consistency and gel of your jam later. You can also place them in a cup of ice water, if you prefer.
For the sugar and pectin:
Measure the sugar into a separate bowl or measuring cup and thoroughly mix the proper amount of pectin powder into the sugar—using a fork helps to disperse the pectin into the sugar. Set the sugar mixture aside.
Bring the fruit to a boil over medium-high heat. If it starts to foam, skim the foam off the top and discard the foam.
Pour the pectin-sugar mixture into the boiling jam slowly and carefully, stirring as you add. Stir vigorously 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin. Return the fruit to a boil and remove from the heat. Skim off any and all foam that has formed on the top. Pectin gels completely when thoroughly cool, so don’t worry if your jam looks loose while still hot. To test, place a teaspoon of the hot jam onto one of the prepped frozen spoons; let it cool to room temperature (about 30 seconds) on the spoon. If it
thickens up to the consistency desired, then the jam is ready. If not, mix in a little more pectin (½ teaspoon into ¼ cup sugar) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute.
See pages 29–30 for in-depth instructions on filling and processing the jars.
For this recipe, process the jars in a boiling water bath for 6 minutes.
Pairs well with fresh cheese like ricotta; great on ginger scones with clotted cream (recipe on page 205), or spooned into a cup of tea like the British do; delicious on top of ice cream or yogurt. See Make It Your Own on pages 82–83 for unique flavor combinations and ingredients you can use to customize your own flavor.

Yield: Makes About Eight 8-Ounce Jars or Two Pint Jars

What's Needed:


1 pound 2 ounces raspberries (about 3 cups)
1 pound 2 ounces blueberries (about 3¾ cups)
1 pound 2 ounces blackberries (about 3 cups)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cups sugar (1½ pounds)

For the Gelling
See Chapter 3 for more information on pectin and calcium water
3 teaspoons calcium water
2 teaspoons pectin

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