This homemade spiced Blackberry and Apple Jam is so yummy, delightfully piquant, and subtly spiced. It works best when you make it in small batches. This recipe makes 6 half pint jelly jars. You can even make it in the smaller 4 oz half jelly jar size to give as small sampler gifts. You could double it, but blackberries need to be processed VERY soon after picking so don’t wait too long.
Spiced Blackberry and Apple Jam
- 2 cups apples, peeled, cored and diced, quickly
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 lemon, well zested, we only want the zest of the lemon, not the white pith
- 4 cups of blackberries
- 3 cups of white sugar *
- 1/4 tsp each of ground nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon
Step 1 – Preparing the jars for blackberry jam
Get the jars and lids sterilizing in the dishwasher which is fine for the jars. Be sure to let it go through the rinse cycle to get rid of any soap! It’s also a good time to start heating up the water in the canner and the small pan of water to boil the lids.
At this point where you are ready to start making your recipe, go ahead and get the water-bath canner water started heating. Let it get up to a boil and then turn it off if you are not yet ready for it. Keep the lid on it to retain heat and steam evaporation.
Lids: Put the lids into a pan of boiling water for at least several minutes. This helps soften the sealing compound of the lid. This is why the little lid lifter with the magnet is cool, because they get very hot. I have also found it good to layer my lids in an alternating fashion in the pan, so they don’t stick to each other.
Step 2 – Making homemade blackberry and apple jam
Bring the McIntosh, or other kind of apple which breaks down quickly, in a pot with the vinegar and zest and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes so that the apples are well softened and can be mashed with a potato masher. Mash well making a slurry pulp.
Add the blackberries, sugar, and spices and let simmer for 20 minutes. Test for set if you like. I am fine with mine being more soft.
Step 3 – Process the Blackberry and Apple Jam
Remove from heat. Pour the blackberry jam into the hot sterilized jars, leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Make sure the rims of the jars are clean. Put a lid on and hand tighten the ring around them. Put them in the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 inch of water and boiling.
Process your homemade blackberry jam in a simple boiling water bath for 10 minutes, if you are at sea level and up to 1,000 feet. Add 5 minutes extra per 2,000+ feet. After carefully lift the heavy jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them on a towel in a draft-free place overnight. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it with-in a week or so.
You can then remove the rings if you like the day after. I have found that it’s a good idea to take the rings off, as in case there is a problem you will catch it quicker, plus the rings last longer as they might otherwise rust in place. Make sure you label and date them. Use within 12 months.
* Yes, you can experiment with other sweeteners later. Always try to make a recipe according to directions first, and then play around with it and make it your own.
Photo credit: NSDIS on Flickr’s Creative Commons