Adding sodium benzoate to jam will prolong its shelf life which means you can enjoy your homemade treat over a longer period. If you add sodium benzoate to the jam mixture after it has cooked, you will be able to store your homemade jam outside the refrigerator. Sodium benzoate is often used as a preservative to prevent bacterial growth in acidic foods like canned jams. Using it either in your jam or as a rinse for jam jars means you can prepare larger quantities of delicious homemade blackberry jam with chia seeds without filling your refrigerator to the brim. You can also simply scold the jar in boiling water.
Making jam from scratch is easy and fun with our recipe for blackberry jam. Prepare yourself and learn more by reading our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this delicious jam.
Fresh or frozen blackberries
Our lovely blackberry jam with honey is both sweet, tart, and delicious. The fresh berries give it a beautiful purple colouring, and the chia seeds ensure a wonderful texture and rich mouthfeel. There are many options for what to make with blackberry jam; you can use it in cakes or other baked goods, to add a beautiful splash of colour to desserts like pancakes or ice cream, on yoghurt as a sweet snack, or to make your breakfast oatmeal sweet and delightful.
If you want to enjoy your homemade jam with fresh blackberries on a slice of freshly baked bread have a look at our recipes for sourdough bread or wholemeal bread. Even though these bread recipes make for very different breads, ranging from crisp and airy to textured and dense, they will all taste wonderful with a layer of your colourful blackberry and chia seed jam.
Using fresh berries in jam making is wonderful. Ripe blackberries are sweet and a little bit tart. As they ripen, they gain their signature dark colour, whereas the unripe ones are red in their colouring. As such, the darker the berry is, the riper and sweeter it is, while redder blackberries are tangier and sourer. You can, of course, use all stages of fresh blackberries to make your homemade jam, but since they may vary greatly in taste, remember to taste your jam to see if it might need more honey to sweeten it.
Blackberries have a lot of seeds and, as such, a jam made from them has a crunchy texture and mouthfeel. In our blackberry jam recipe, we have leaned into this aspect of the beloved jam and chosen to add chia seeds for even more texture. Chia seeds have a very subtle flavour that in no way overpowers the blackberries. Rather, they serve to add a mild nutty flavour and, of course, texture.
Blackberries like many other types of fruit have a naturally high pectin content. As such, it is not necessary to add any more pectin for your homemade jam to set properly. With other kinds of fruit, adding a gelling agent like pectin or freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice which contains high amounts of it may be necessary. With blackberries, though, it should not be, but in any case, the addition of chia seeds serves to thicken this jam.
If you want to try play around with adding spices to your homemade jam, you definitely should. A spiced blackberry jam recipe is perfect for the darker months where we all love a combination of flavourful spices like cinnamon, star anise, and cloves or cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg to bring a bit of warmth. You can also stick with a classic, vanilla and blackberry. Simply add a vanilla pod to the jam and remove it when it is done cooking.
Combining blackberries with other fruits or berries is, of course, also an option. Sweet and tart blackberries pair well with apples. With this complex fruit, you can take your homemade jam in different directions depending on whether you go for a sweeter apple like Cox's Orange or a tangy one like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith. No matter which type of apple you decide to experiment with, the fruits complement each other beautifully.