Small-batch Blackberry Jam

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Most people don’t even think about making jam until berries are in season and at their freshest but I happened to see fresh blackberries on sale (2 punnets for the price of one) at my local grocery store last week, so I thought – why not? I only needed 800 grams of blackberries to make this small batch of jam and it turned out great! Truth be told, I don’t always feel like investing the time and money to make a large batch of jam even when berries are at their peak. Sometimes a small batch recipe like this one suits me better.  

This blackberry jam is incredibly easy and it can be eaten straight away – like, as soon as it cools down. It doesn’t require any time to gel or set. You could literally throw the ingredients together when you get up in the morning and have it ready by the time your coffee has brewed! 

Chia seeds replace the pectin and sugar without compromising the consistency and texture you would find in regular jam. Chia seeds come from a plant in the mint family (Salvia hispanica L.) and are generally available in white or grey/black. I prefer the darker seeds in this recipe but either one can be used. 

Chia seeds are gluten-free, high in fiber and in protein content. Some research suggests  that grinding the seeds prior to using results in better absorption of  the nutrients, which is why I used ground chia seeds in this recipe. The seeds have no distinct flavour of their own and will take on the flavour of whatever they are added to.

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The flavor  of this jam is deliciously fresh and lovely and you can use it for all the same things you would use store-bought jam i.e.; spread it on toast or use it in baking!

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Ingredients

  • 800 grams fresh blackberries
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed
  • 1 tbsp. ground chia seeds (I used grey/black)

Place everything except the chia seeds in a shallow saucepan. Simmer over a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the blackberries are soft and the liquid has reduced by about two thirds.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chia seeds. I use a fork, mashing and breaking up any whole blackberries as I mix in the seeds. You don’t have to mash the blackberries – I just refer the jam that way. Once the mixture thickens (only takes minutes) transfer the jam to a clean jar and store in the refrigerator for about 10-14 days.

Yield: 2 cups.

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Notes:

You can use this recipe to make a small batch of raspberry or strawberry jam too. Just swap the blackberries for the same amount of raspberries or strawberries and follow the method as written above. 

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