Bumbleberry Port Jam

Bumbleberry Port Jam
Bumbleberry Port Jam
I've been cleaning out the freezer again and one of the things that always seems to be there, especially now during the winter months are partly used bags of frozen berries. We regularly buy these in the winter months when fresh are not available or are prohibitively expensive. When I begin to question how long the bags have been open is when I decide to throw them all in together and make a batch of bumbleberry jam.

I am not a big maker of preserves, I'm afraid but it is something I'd like to get into this summer. A couple of friends are dedicated canners and bottlers of summer's bounty. I mostly make jams in small batches, usually no more than a couple of mason jars at a time and consume them quickly within a week or two. If it nears the end of that time, the jam usually gets used for dessert like a simple, classic Victoria Sandwich Cake.

There are no rules to my freezer cleaning bumbleberry jam. In this particular batch I used blueberries, strawberries and raspberries but blackberries, cranberries or local partridgeberries  (lingonberries) have been known to be used in the past too; whatever yo have. I like to use a proportion of  2:1 crushed berries to sugar and 2 ounce of lemon juice for each 4 cups berries. This is less sugar than most jams but you will get more of the natural fruit flavor, which is what I prefer.

When making simple jam without pectin, I like to use a candy thermometer to make sure the mixture reaches a syrupy stage or 220-225 degrees F so that you don't have runny jam.

This time around I had on hand a bottle of beautiful port wine that I had been given which had beautiful notes of cherry and plum so I decided to add some of it to my jam. The result was outstanding. What started as a simple way to use those leftover berries  turned into a more complex, deeply flavored, elegant jam that would be as welcome at a formal afternoon tea as it would at a casual weekend brunch.

Makes about 4 cups jam

  • 4 cups crushed mixed berries (the jam pictured used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup good port wine

Bring all ingredients to a slow boil. Watch it carefully, jams always boil over easily. Simmer until almost all of the liquid has boiled off and what remains has reached the syrup stage on a candy thermometer, 220 - 225  degrees F.

While still hot, pour into sterilized jars and seal with sterilized lids. If keeping for longer than a week, use the canning method recommended by the jar manufacturer as in this step-by-step guide.

Bumbleberry Port Jam

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