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All about Blackberries and making Jam!!

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The blackberry plants I have growing in my yard came from my parents’ garden. The thought of not having them growing in my home wasn’t an option, so my poor husband had to dig them out and transfer them for me a few years ago from my parents old home. Luckily, the home is still owned by family; the thought of climbing fences to get the blackberry bushes would have been trespassing so thank goodness we didn’t have to resort to that!! lol 
The plants have taken at least five years to take and produce a significant amount of fruit but as soon as I see those blackberries evenly black, I know they’re ripe and ready to be picked. 
There are a few varieties of these plants and some plants have sharp thorns. If that’s the case you need to make sure to wear gloves to keep your hands protected from scratches. Fortunately for me, my mom hated that variety so my dad only kept the variety with no prickles!! 
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One thing about blackberries is that they contain lots of seeds. So if you like having seeds in your jam, this recipe will be a breeze. But if the thought of eating seeds along with your jam bothers you…then it’s an extra step you’ll need to do by using a food mill or metal mesh sieve to remove them. 
I personally don’t mind the seeds, but my husband can’t stand them. He says they get in-between his teeth and will have to spend the rest of the time flossing them out.
For him, seeds are removed in my home or else I would be the only one eating the jam.
 
So here’s my recipe:
After picking the berries, and I discard any bruised, moldy or extra soft berries. If there is any doubt, I discard. Then I rinse the berries under running water and I drain them in a colander.
Once everything is clean I weigh the fruit and depending on how sweet the fruit is I use the same weight in sugar. ( if the fruit is very sweet I usually use half the weight of fruit in sugar).
Yesterdays small batch of berries weighed  1 lb  and I used 1 lb of sugar to go with it.
In a large saucepan add the washed 1 lb of berries and about 1/4 cup of water, over medium heat bring to a simmer. The berries will begin to break apart. You can speed the process by using a 
potato masher and mashing the berries. This will help with removing the seeds.  Once they’re all broken apart, remove from heat and either use a food mill or metal mesh sieve to remove all the seeds. Once that’s done, add the strained berries back into the saucepan and add the sugar. Over medium heat, keep string until it reaches the thickness in consistency that you like.
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Please note: You don’t want to overcook it, since the jam will harden as it cools.
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  • Susana Figueiredo

    What is the best way to store them? Is it in the fridge or the pantry and for how long?

    • azoreangreenbean

      Since there are no preservatives I would store them in the fridge Susana. Since we eat so much of it in my home as well as give as gifts, they don’t last that long.. The longest I have had them in the fridge is for about six months!!