My husband, David’s number one, favorite jam is this Marionberry jam. The only thing he likes better is Cascade Berry jam, but Marionberry jam is just so, so good you can’t really think that anything could be better while you are eating it. At least that’s what David says. The two types of berries are very similar, so you can use this recipe for either. You will probably not be able to make Cascade Berry jam, since the berries are only grown by me and a small circle of our friends, I believe- But that is a whole other story I’ll share with you later. While you wait, I hope you enjoy this delicious Marionberry jam recipe.
We like our jam delicate, quivering, and easily smashed across the toast with a knife. Not rubbery and hard. To this end, I have discovered that what works for us is to make our jam with MCP pectin, but use 50% more fruit and 50% more sugar than the MCP instructions call for. If it fails, it will fail into sauce which we can happily live with. I don’t remember a failure. The recipe below has been adjusted to these proportions.
Seedless Marionberry Jam
This recipe makes approximately fifteen 8-ounce jars of jam.
• about 9 pints fresh or frozen marionberries (8 – 5/8 cups of seedless pulpy juice)
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 12 cups sugar
• 1 box MCP pectin powder
• jam jars (jam jars for canning can be found online at Specialtybottle.com, or most groceries have Kerr canning jars in 4- and 8-ounce sizes)
• 6 or 8 quart cook pot (must be very large)
• long-handled wooden spoon
• rubber gloves (optional)
• a food mill, or a large bowl and the following:
• one cup hook, (or nail about 3″ long, and a pliers)
• a piece of clean, porous cloth about 24″ square
• sturdy string, 16″
If you don’t use a food mill, prepare your equipment:
Place into a large bowl a clean, rather porous cloth that is large enough so it drapes four or five inches over sides of bowl. I prefer 100% polyester chiffon; if you buy it new, wash it first. Choose a place on your counter where there is a cabinet above. In the underside of the cabinet, screw in the cup hook or hammer a nail about one inch into the wood, leaving most of the nail exposed. Be sure it’s nailed in solid so it doesn’t fall out with the weight of the juice bag. With pliers, bend back the top of the nail head so you have a ‘hook’ to hang the bag.
To prepare juice:
Put berries in pan on low heat until berries are hot, but not boiling. Press through a food mill removing all seeds, or hand-press as follows: pour the warm berries into a cloth-lined bowl, draw edges of cloth together and tie tightly with sturdy string. Tie a loop in the end of the string and hang this cloth bag on the hook under your cabinet, with the bowl under it. Be sure the bag is hanging high enough so it won’t dip into the juice in the bowl, and low enough so it doesn’t allow drops to spatter your walls. When it finishes dripping (about an hour), carefully take it down and place on a dish. To get as much pulp into the jam as you can, knead the jelly bag with your hands, allowing pulp to ooze into the bowl. Knead as much as you wish. Our family likes jam very pulpy, so I knead until almost all moisture has been worked out of the bag. Measure the pulpy juice and put into the cook pot along with the lemon juice. Discard remaining seeds. Rinse the cloth, then wash it well to use again.
To make jam:
In a pan, cover lids with water and simmer for 10 minutes. Wash jars and keep immersed in simmering water for at least ten minutes until ready to fill. Measure sugar into a bowl, set aside. Stir pectin powder into the pulpy juice in cook pot and bring to a full rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down), stirring constantly. Be sure you have a large pot, as the mixture will boil up very high. Add sugar, stir constantly until it returns to a full rolling boil. Continue to stir and cook at full rolling boil for exactly 4 minutes. While this is happening, remove the jars from the hot water and drain, then set next to the pot of jam in preparation for filling. Take off of the heat and immediately ladle jam into the hot jars, fill to within 3/8″ of the top. Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp paper towel. Immediately put lids on and screw down tightly. Turn jars upside down, then turn upright after 5 minutes. When cool, remove screw caps (not the flat lids), rinse off any jam residue with cool water. Replace the screw caps; do not screw down tightly.
Jam jars can be obtained online at or Specialtybottle.com. Kerr canning jars can be found at most grocery stores. European canning jars can be ordered online at Weck Canning.