This low sugar mixed berry jam is so easy and simple to make. Throw in whatever berries you can come by, some sugar, and fresh lemon juice and you have a wonderful jam! It’s also very simple to can.
I love making all the jams… Fig jam (my favorite!), mango jam, cantaloupe jam, peach jam, and on and on. It’s a great way to preserve fruit and it’s usually pretty simple once you get the hang of it (the process is pretty much always the same).
This mixed berry jam is a regular. It’s thick and dark and sweet but not too sweet. I can feed it to the kids any which way and they’ll never complain. I can use it in baked goods, on yogurt, and on and on… Life is so much simpler with mixed berry jam in the pantry!
Mixed Berry Jam Recipe…
During the summer when berries come at us from any direction this is my preferred way to preserve the extra fruit. I leave this jam chunky with large pieces of fruit in it and we get to enjoy the summer harvest all year. It’s an easy jam to make too and takes just about an hour to cook.
Ingredients For Mixed Berry Jam…
This is a very simple jam with just a few ingredients. First, of course, berries. I used a total of 4 pounds of berries (I started with a bit more and after removing the strawberry tops ended up with 4 pounds). The nice thing about this jam is that you can use whatever combination of berries you want. Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries… Everything goes!
Aside from berries, you’ll also need 2 pounds of sugar and a medium lemon for its juice and seeds. Instead of the traditional 1:1 ratio between fruit and sugar, I use a ratio of 1 part fruit to 1/2 part sugar. It’s more than enough sugar for both sweetness and preserving the jam.
If you’d like, you can add a tablespoon of vanilla extract to the jam when it’s done cooking. It’s a fun addition but is optional.
From 4 pounds of fruit, I ended up getting 11 half-pint jars of mixed berry jam.
Tools For making Jam…
If you’re going to can your jam make sure that you have all the canning equipment that you’ll need. I like using half-pint jars for jams. You’ll need new lids but you can reuse the bands.
How to Make Mixed Berry Jam…
Start with four pounds of clean fruit. Make sure to wash your strawberries well if you are using strawberries. Also, remove their tops and dice them. Most of the other berries can be added to the pot whole since they are small.
Add the fruit to a pot and add 2 pounds of sugar…
Set the heat to medium-high and stir. The sugar will melt and the mixture will come to a boil. Let it boil for five minutes before lowering the heat to medium-low…
Keep cooking, stirring frequently. After about 15 minutes or so, you’ll notice that the fruit is soft. Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to blend the fruit.
Keep cooking, stirring frequently. There might be some foam forming on the top depending on what berries you used. You can remove the foam with a spoon.
After an additional 15 minutes or so of cooking, squeeze the juice of one lemon right into the pot. Also, add 5-6 lemon seeds to the jam. Lemon seeds are rich in pectin and will help the jam gel.
Cook for an additional 15 minutes or so until the jam gels. This can be a tricky stage to spot. To help you recognize it, you can do the spoon test. Scoop some jam with a tablespoon and set it aside on the counter for five minutes to cool. Then add the jam back to the pot and as it leaves the spoon watch its thickness. Remember that it will get even thicker as it cools completely.
If you want to add vanilla extract to your jam, this is the time to do it. Turn the heat off and add about a tablespoon. Then stir it in.
Canning Mixed Berry Jam…
While the jam is cooking, fill your water bath canner with enough water to cover the jars by at least an inch. Set it on the stove top and turn the heat to high. Bring the water in the canner to a gentle boil.
Wash the jars, lids, and rings well with hot water and soap. Since we are going to process this jam in the canner for more than ten minutes, there is no need to sanitize the jars.
Use a ladle and canning funnel to fill the jars with the jam leaving 1/2 inch headspace….
Use the bubble remover to remove bubbles by scraping it along the sides of the jar. Then, use a clean, damp paper towel to clean the rim of the jar before centering the lid and closing the jar with the ring finger tight.
Set the jars on the rack of the water bath canner and lower the rack into the boiling water. process the jars for 15 minutes.
Remember to adjust processing time according to the table above if you live in altitudes above 1,000 feet in elevation.
Once processing time is over, use the jar lifter to remove the jars from the canner. Set them on a kitchen towel on the counter to cool completely, undisturbed, overnight.
After you remove the jars from the canner, stick around for a few minutes to make sure that the jars have sealed as they cool. You can gently press the center of the lid, if there is no movement there, the jar is sealed.
If you have a jar that didn’t seal, you can choose to keep it in the fridge and use it first (let it cool completely before putting it in the fridge) or you can choose to process it again. If you choose to process again, remove the lid, clean the rim again and cover the jar with a different lid (most of the time, it’s a problem with the lid that causes the jar not to seal), then close with the ring and process again.
Storing The Jam…
Remember to make sure to check that the jars are sealed before you store them. Then, remove the rings (because they rust and stick, and make it hard to monitor the food in the jars) and wipe your jars. Store the jars in the pantry or a kitchen cabinet for up 18 months.
Serving Mixed Berry Jam…
There are so many amazing ways to use this jam! I personally love making myself a toast with tahini and jam on top (it’s soooo good!). The kids love eating this jam on crackers with cream cheese.
This is a thick jam so it can be used to make delicious thumbprint cookies or in any other baked goods. Or, you can add it to sour cream or yogurt with homemade granola. Sometimes we also add it on top of a low sugar strawberry bread to add some sweetness to it. Really, the sky is the limit!
I hope that you’ll give this recipe a try! It’s a simple jam and you can use this recipe as a base and change the berries any way that you want!
If you like berry jams, make sure to also check these as well…
- 4 pounds of berries (use any berries that you'd like. If you are using strawberries, make sure to wash them well, remove tops, and dice. Other berries can be added whole to the pot)
- 2 pounds of sugar
- Juice of 1 medium lemon
- 5-6 lemon seeds (to help the jam thicken)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Add the berries and sugar to a heavy-bottomed pot. Turn heat to medium-high and stir. The sugar will melt and the mixture will come to a boil. Let it boil for 5 minutes before lowering the heat to medium-low.
- Keep cooking, stirring frequently for 15 minutes.
- Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to blend the fruit.
- Keep cooking, stirring frequently for an additional 15 minutes.
- Squeeze the juice of one medium lemon right into the pot. Also add 5-6 lemon seeds and stir them in.
- Cook for an additional 15 minutes or so before checking for thickness.
To check if the jam is thick enough you can do the spoon test. Scoop a little bit of jam with a spoon and leave it on the counter for 5 minutes to cool. Then add the jam back into the pot. As the jam leaves the spoon, you'll be able to see how thick it is. Remember that it will keep thickening as it cools.
- Once the jam is thick enough to your liking, turn the heat off. If you choose to add vanilla extract, add it now and stir it in.
- While the jam is cooking, fill your water bath canner with enough water to cover the jars by at least an inch. Set the canner on the stovetop and turn the heat to high. Bring the water to a boil.
- Wash the jars, lids, and rings well with hot water and soap. Fill the jars with the hot jam, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.
- Remove bubbles, clean the rim of the jar with a clean, damp paper towel, center the lid, and close the jars with the rings finger tight.
- Set the jars on the rack of the canner and lower them into the boiling water. Process jars for 15 minutes (remember to adjust processing time according to the table below if you live above 1,000 feet in elevation).
- Remove jars from the canner and set them on a kitchen towel on the counter to cool undisturbed, overnight.
- Before storing, check that all the jars have sealed, remove rings (cause they rust and stick), and wipe the jars. Store in the pantry for up to 18 months.
Adjust processing time according to the table below if you live in altitudes over 1,000 feet:
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Cuisinart CSB-79 Smart Stick 2 Speed Hand Blender, Stainless Steel/Black
Norpro Canning Essentials Boxed Set, 6 Piece Set
PremiumVials 12 pcs 8 oz Mason Jars with Silver Lids for Jam, Honey, Wedding Favors, Shower Favors, Baby Foods, Canning, spices, Half Pint
Granite Ware Covered Preserving Canner with Rack, 12-Quart
Nutrition Information:Yield: 11 Serving Size: 1 half pint jar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 425Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 108gFiber: 8gSugar: 96gProtein: 2g