Honey-Sweetened Summer Berry Preserves
- 4 cups of your favorite fresh berries, such as raspberries, strawberries or blackberries (or use thawed frozen berries)
- 1 cup whole cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 to 1 1/4 cups mild honey, such as clove (depending on how sweet you prefer your jam)
- 1 tbsp of fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon)
- If making strawberry preserves, remove the stems and quarter the strawberries before measuring out 4 cups. For raspberry or blackberry jam, simply cut the berries in half before measuring. If making blueberry jam, no need to cut the blueberries.
- In a medium saucepan over medium/medium-high heat, bring the berries and honey to a boil while stirring. Then, reduce the temperature until the mixture remains at a constant simmer. Allow berries to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once you reach the 20-minute mark, use the back of a wooden spoon to mash the cranberries against the side of the saucepan. This helps to release all of their natural pectin.
- Maintain a gentle simmer, making sure to stir the mixture frequently, so it does not scorch. While stirring, use the "back-of-spoon" method to break up any large pieces of fruit into smaller pieces. Or if you prefer less chunky preserves, thoroughly mash all of the berries.
- After 10 minutes, if the mixture is somewhat thick and no longer runny, turn off the heat. It will thicken more as it cools. If it is not thick enough, continue cooking at a gentle simmer, while stirring constantly until it thickens a bit more, then turn off the heat. (Keep in mind, preserves are looser than jellies, so once the mixture is chilled, it will be thick, but not gelatin-like.)
- Pour the fresh-squeezed lemon juice over the warm preserves, stir well and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
- Evenly distribute the cooled preserves among four 8 oz. glass jars making sure to leave about an inch of space between the top of the jam and the jar lid to accommodate for expansion. Then, cover and refrigerate or freeze. (Or you can preserve the jam by following the classic hot water bath canning method.)
- Because homemade jam/preserves do not contain any preservatives, I recommend placing one jar in the fridge to enjoy now, and freeze the three remaining jars for future use. Enjoy!
Recipe by Keeper of the Home at https://keeperofthehome.org/make-honey-sweetened-summer-berry-preserves/