Adventures In Canning: Making Jam Without Pectin (All of the Berry Jam)

Canning berry jamI actually wasn't going to talk about making berry jam, but, quite by accident, I discovered something and I obviously had to share it. You don't have to use pectin to make jam you guys. I don't know why I'm so stinking excited to have discovered this. You know, with all my experience of making jam one time before it was so annoying to use pectin and all. But, really, with the mess up with my first batch of blueberry jam it would have saved Mr. T a trip to the store.

First, let me explain my discovery of making jam without pectin.

I wanted to make raspberry jam. In a bad way. And Meijer just happened to have raspberries as a part of their 10 for $10 sale. They also had blackberries. So my thought was to make raspberry and then a mixed berry jam. I bought what I assumed was the right amount to make two batches using the recipe for blueberry jam. But when I got home and started to make the jam the next day, I realized I actually had enough for three batches of jam.

I was super excited. But then I realized that I didn't have enough pectin.

I didn't want to go to the store again and neither did anyone else around the house so I did a quick Google search (so did Mama C). Apparently pectin isn't a crucial ingredient in jam. Most people say that it helps the flavor and process. But the gist that I got from reading everything is that really pectin just makes it so the jam sets up nice without cooking everything for too long.

Full disclaimer: I do not know if this is true and maybe pectin provides some other important thing. But I couldn't really find a true purpose for it.

So I thought what the hell. I'll make some jam without pectin. If I ruin it then I know I need to use the stuff. I fully realize I could have just made my lazy ass go to the store, but I honestly became curious about if it would work. It would save me some dollars and I'm all about that.

I went ahead and cooked the same jam recipe I had, I just left out the pectin. I cooked it for about five minutes longer as well. And what do you know? The jam came out perfectly. It tastes wonderful and set up just fine.

So there you have it. Jam without pectin. Who knew? Again since making jam once made me an expert.

Here's the recipe for berry jam without pectin.

(Basically it's the same as the one I used for blueberries)

6 cups smashed berries

4 cups sugar

1 lemon, juice and zest of

2 tsps ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Cook berries and sugar until boiling. Add lemon, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Once boiling, cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Can using water bath method.

Eat on biscuits.