Bumbleberry Jam - Take 2

nameltrabAugust 14, 2012

I posted this message on another part of this website - and it was suggested I try over here. Does anybody have any thoughts??


Hi all - new to this forum (and to making jam!)

I made my first batch of bumbleberry jam a couple days ago, and although it was way better than store bought jam, I found it REALLY sweet (1 cup strawberries, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup raspberries, 6 cups sugar, 1 package liquid pectin ~70mL).

Does anybody have a 3 berry/bumbleberry recipie that is really high in fruit, and really low in sugar?

Anything else I can do to reduce the sweetness? I've also seen some recipies with a little lemon juice to add some tartness, would that help?

I thanks in advance for all your help!



Here is a link that might be useful: My Other Post

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The first thing you could try is buying a "No Sugar Needed" pectin (Bernardin makes one). All three of the berries you used are low in natural pectin, so traditional jam making using no pectin at all can be finicky and takes some practice to get it to set the way you want.

The "No Sugar Needed" pectin allows you to sweeten to taste (regular pectin needs a certain ratio of sugar to fruit to pectin and I ALWAYS find them way too sweet, so I know what you mean). You can also use alternative sweeteners like Splenda, honey, etc.

I'm not sure if you can obtain Pomona pectin in Canada, but that is another pectin that allows you to sweeten to your taste.

A little lemon juice never hurts - I find it really brightens up the flavor of the fruit.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 11:18AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree with malna 100%. We love the Ball No-Sugar Needed pectin (Bernardin brandname in Canada). With it you can cut the sugar in half or even more if you wish. And adding a tablespoon of lemon juice helps with the set and brightens the color. Some citrus peel is also a tasty addition.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 11:40AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Eric - your link back to the other forum doesn't work for me. I've added it here.

On that I suggested that even for a traditional jam there is at least twice as much sugar in Eric's recipe as needed. Does anyone else agree?

Here is a link that might be useful: Original post.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:21PM
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I happened to notice that the recipe called for 1 cup each of crushed fruit. Did you measure it AFTER you had crushed the fruit?

If you measured one cup of whole blueberries, for example, then crushed them, that could be another reason your jam was too sweet. As a general rule, crushed fruit is approximately half of what whole fruit is. I would have started with a little over 2 cups of each kind of berry, then crushed them down to one cup per kind. Which would make roughly 6-7 cups of fruit to 6 cups of sugar, which is still on the sweet side, but more in line with Flora's observation of at least twice as much sugar as needed.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:05PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

maina - where did you see Eric's recipe? I can't see a reference to crushed fruit in his post.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:49PM
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On the Bernardin website. I remember seeing it there and went back to re-read it. That's when I noticed the "crushed fruit" part and thought perhaps he missed it as well, since he didn't mention that in his original post.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bumbleberry Jam

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Hello all!

Sorry I'm slow getting back - working night shifts right now, so I've been sleeping... First, thanks everybody for your help, I can't believe all the responses! A couple things:

1) I measured my fruit after it was crushed - so what my recipe should have said was 1 cup crushed strawberries, 1 cup crushed raspberries, and 1 cup crushed blueberries. Flora, your suggestion of a 1 to 1 ratio seems a lot more reasonable, 6 cups sounded crazy to me, but I just followed the recipe!

2) Spelling recipe somehow confounds me every time I try and write it, so writing a post on recipes hurts my brain!

3) digidirt/Malna - I'm going to have to give your suggestion a try - hopefully I can find no-sugar pectin (I live in a small town, and our grocery store is somewhat limited!) but I know I've seen Bernardin pectin somewhere around here! I'm also going to try the lemon juice.

4) Flora, thanks for pointing me in the right direction (and fixing my link!)

I shall let you all know how it goes!


    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:12PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Well I've looked at the recipe and I still don't see why it has so much sugar. Maybe they think that is the taste of their target readers? I had a quick Google and found this mixed berry jam which is much less sweet. I don't know if it meets the stringent safety requirements in the US but the ratio of fruit to sugar is interesting. 6 cups uncrushed fruit to 3 cups sugar ie 3:3 when crushed. Way different from Eric's recipe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mixed berry jam.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:41PM
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In a lot of cases, our taste buds here across the pond have come to expect lots of sweeteners in food, like Pizza Hut putting extra sugar in pizza dough and sauce for kids.

I agree, Flora, the amount of sugar is excessive, but if you don't use that much with regular pectin, many times the jam or jelly won't set properly. It's absolutely not a safety issue.

I used regular pectin once, and that was quite enough, thank you. It was horrible :-)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:00PM
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I usually use 2-2.5 cups of sugar to 3-3.5 cups of fruits and no pectin for three berry jam and it still sets.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:24PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I do more or less as Olga does. Sometimes I use 'jam sugar' ie with pectin included,sometimes not. The flavour is absolutely fine. But remember she and I are not canning our jams or even BWBing them (I assume, Olga, from some of your other comments?). Just making it and jarring it. So we need a certain amount of sugar for keeping. But still nothing like as much as in Eric's original recipe.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 5:57AM
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Hey all,

So I made a 2nd batch, used Bernardin's no-sugar pectin, followed the recipie that came in the box, and I added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 cup of sugar. That made a huge difference, not near as sweet, has a little tartness, it's awesome! (My next venture will be dill pickles...)

Thanks all for your help!

Happy jamming - Eric

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 10:13PM
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Great! I'm glad that worked out for you. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:06AM
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Flora, you guessed it right :)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:11PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Aha - I feel we two are the naughty ones at the back of the class, Olga. But just to reassure the others I would never preserve anything except traditional high sugar or high acid jellies, jams and pickles in this lackadaisical way.

Glad the jam came out fine in the end, Eric.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 6:27AM
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Me too. Will do it only for traditional high sugar or high acid jellies :)
I am playing by the rules and am very "safe" when I am doing vegetable canning, etc.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:57AM
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