Berry jam safety?

cupcakescienceJuly 18, 2011


I'm new to canning this year, and so far I've made a couple of berry jam recipes from Sherri Brooks Vinton's "Put 'em Up!". Next I'd like to make blackberry jam (which she doesn't have a recipe for) and raspberry jam (which she only has a "quick" recipe for, requiring pectin).

The "quick" raspberry recipe calls for 8 cups of raspberries, 2 cups of sugar, and the pectin. The strawberry and blueberry jams I've made also called for 8 cups of fruit and 2 cups of sugar, plus 1/4 cup lemon juice.

Doing some research, I found this page which seems to lump all berries together:

Are these types of berries really interchangeable? Can I follow Vinton's fruit/sugar/lemon juice ratios to make raspberry and blackberry jam? My main concern is safety, and while I see that strawberries, raspberries and blueberries seem to have similar pH levels, blackberries seemed higher, so I was a bit surprised that the uga link didn't mention adding lemon juice...

Sorry for the long post - can you tell I'm still a bit of a nervous canner? =)


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readinglady(z8 OR)

Nervous seems a whole lot better option than brash or cocksure.

It's true that blackberries can edge up near that 4.6 pH breaking point, but they'd have to be dead-ripe and dead-ripe berries don't set well. Realistically, you wouldn't use those in a jam.

Generally with berries, if you're adding lemon juice it's not for safety but because it assists with setting a lower-acid or lower-pectin fruit.

So you don't need to worry. It's still better to ask, though.

No one wants to can something and then worry if you're serving a product that's unsafe.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 10:02PM
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Thank you so much for your reply, and for clarifying the purpose of the lemon juice. I went berry picking today, so now I have a few batches of those macerating in the fridge ready to become delicious, safe jam tomorrow!

Thanks again, you certainly put my mind at ease. =)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 12:25AM
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