Not Too Sweet Blackberry Jam

Because of a wet and cold summer, the blackberries on Gabriola Island were late this year.  We had expected to pick gallons and gallons of them in the weeks leading up to the wedding.  Our plan was to make blackberry jam for our guests and also for the filling of the gluten-free lemon blackberry wedding cake that my mother and her sisters were going to bake.  We ended up having to come up with another solution for our gift jam because the very first batch of blackberries came ripe just in time for us to pick just enough for the wedding cake filling, a few days before the baking began.

It was lovely to be in the sun, with the sound of bees buzzing and the smell of blackberries baking on the vine.  I had picked all of the blackberries in immediate reach and was yearning for a cluster of particularly plump berries just beyond my grasp.  My very tall fiance reached out and pulled the  berries that I was longing for right into my reaching hand.  I thought…”I am going to marry this man” and I was overwhelmed with happiness.

My mother made the blackberries that we picked into this not too sweet jam to fill our wedding cake.  She is a librarian, so when I asked her to send the recipe also cited her resources in a thorough manner (see below).

Wilson, Dede.  Wedding cakes You Can Make. Wiley Pub. INc. Hoboken, NJ. 2005. p.81.


Makes 3 cups.  Make 2 recipes to have enough for the Gluten-Free Lemon Blackberry Wedding Cake.

Make up to 4 days ahead

  • 4 cups blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1.  Pick over the blackberries and remove any stems or leaves.  Place in a large nonreactive saucepan with the sugar and water (use water if they are dry; leave it out if they are juicy).  Stir to combine.  Place over low-medium heat and cook until the mixture comes to a simmer.
2.  Simmer the mixture, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 30 minutes.  The blackberries will have broken down and the mixture will resemble jam, although it will not be sticky.  It will become sticky and spreadable as it cools.
3.  Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.  Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to help release heat.  When cool, refrigerate in an airtight container until needed, for at least 1 day.
my beautiful cousin picking blackberries

About six of wedding guests went out to pick more  fresh blackberries the day before the wedding for the cake decoration and they came back scarred and torn.  Apparently, our friend Janese had picked more berries than everyone else combined by attaching her bucket to her pants and using both hands (as well as her super powers of superior energy).

My mum and I picked one more batch of blackberries after the wedding and made more of the jam for the camper honeymoon.  Chris and I ate it with bread fried in butter for breakfast every morning!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Mona Banek says:

    My Grandma used to make bread fried in butter for us. Homemade bread and jam.It was delicious – haven’t thought of it for years.

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