Summer Canning with Ball® | Mixed Berry Jam Recipe


Last weekend, our little family went on quite an adventure to make our own batch of homemade mixed berry jam. I've never actually made jam and I certainly don't have any previous experience with canning, but my husband's family has been doing it for generations and I was eager to give it a try. While canning may seem like a vintage pastime, I think it's a pretty impressive hobby and I'm excited to be able to share it with the kids. I love the idea of small-batch canning because you have complete control over the ingredients, it's sustainable and also incredibly cost efficient. Those are 3 things this soon-to-be mama of 3 is all about!

We started our journey at a local blackberry farm early Saturday morning. During our drive there, we talked about how berries are grown and how they were going to become jam for our toast and treats. The kids were so intrigued and had so much fun picking their own berries once we got there.










After we filled up our baskets, we stopped by a local farmer's market to pick up a few more baskets of organic berries then headed back home for lunch and a nap. While the kids napped, I chopped up the rest of our fruit, cleaned six of my cute little 8oz. Ball® mason jars and heated up my water bath canner.





When the kids woke up, they both eagerly joined me in the kitchen to continue the process. They were so curious and helpful the entire time which made the experience so much fun.






After we got the mixture going on the stove, I let the kids run off to play. Once everything was combined, I moved over the counter to ladle the mixture into the warm mason jars using a canning funnel. Then, I tightened the lids on each jar and boiled them for 10 minutes in the water bath canner in order to preserve the jam. It was at this point when the kids started asking how soon it would be until they could try some. Knowing the recipe suggests waiting 12-24 hours for the jars to properly seal, I was sure to put one jar aside for us to enjoy right away. 




When it was time to eat, the kids came running to the table cheering. We served the mixed berry jam on top of angel food cake sprinkled with fresh berries and a side of vanilla ice cream. The jam was so delicious and we all loved it. We even had seconds! It's amazing how different jam can taste when the fruit is so fresh.

I honestly can't believe how easy the entire process was and I feel so accomplished now that I've successfully canned my first batch of jam. I'm excited to try out more canning recipes throughout the summer with the kids and share them with our friends and families.

*****

 If you want to make your own mixed berry jam, I've added the recipe we used straight from the Ball® Canning recipe book below! Also, don't forget to grab your canning tools: utensils, 8 oz. half pint jars, and a waterbath canner. And if you really want to customize your batch, be sure to print out these fun custom jar tags (linked here)!

For everything you could ever need to start canning, click here!


Ball® Mixed Berry Jam Recipe 
(Makes about 6 (8 oz.) half-pint jars)

  • 4 lbs crushed berries (we used blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
  • 4½ tbsp Ball® RealFruit Classic Pectin
  • 3 cups sugar 
  1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
  2. Combine berries in an 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
  3. Add entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam, if necessary.
  4. Ladle hot jam into a hot jar leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar and apply band; adjust to fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  5. Process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal; they should not flex when center is pressed.

Click here for more Ball® recipes and canning ideas.

This post is sponsored by Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

xo
Jen