quick blackberry preserves

Portland was a-callin’.  I have a strangely soft spot in my heart for the Pacific Northwest.  Rain, superfluous hipster demographics, and slow driving aside, it’s a great place, and was a stupendous place for my dear friend Annie to have her wedding last week.

portland-windowbug-hidden-in-treesI’d made an intelligent choice of staying in my own private accomodations in an AirBnB (except for when the people staying in the house above me woke me up in the morning with their, uh, excessive cuddling) and therefore was able to sneak in a few minutes to film a quickie for y’all in between the wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, the wedding itself, and, ya know, enjoying a city a little bit that I once lived in.

blackberries-basketI meandered, my first night of arrival, into a local organic market that I once frequented while living on the NE side of town, and I saw these gorgeous blackberries.  I knew that I wanted to share a recipe with you all, and it just had to be with these.  Then, of course, of course (it’s Portland) I found mason jars near the checkout, so a lemon added to that mix meant I had some sort of awesome to make fresh blackberry preserves.  And quick!

The mason jar is important in this technique as it’s what keeps the preserves fresh, considering we’re adding no extra sugar.  This recipe is delicious because it really brings out the flavor of the blackberries themselves — there is not a lot of other flavor to mask them, and I like that!  If I wanted syrup, I’d buy syrup.  If I want jam/preserves?  I want it to taste like that fruit… but, like, better.  And this does.

blackberry-jam-openedBehold: a quick and easy blackberry preserve!  I would recommend refrigerating after sealing, just because there is no sugar, so, ya know, I don’t want to lead you astray.  But an FYI — I had this traveling with me in very hot temperatures for a week after making this video, and it’s still fresh a week and a half later.  So, for safety, keep it in the fridge.  But it should last you longer even in the heat.

Enjoy!!!  And new video coming next from LA.  Because, as much as I like you Portland, I guess I’m a bird that flies south in all seasons.  At least for right now.

quick blackberry preserves

Serves 1 small pot preserves
Prep time 2 minutes
Cook time 35 minutes
Total time 37 minutes
Dietary Corn Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Breakfast, Condiment, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot


  • 1 carton blackberries (about 2/12 cups)
  • 3/4 cups water (divided)
  • Zest of 1 lemon


Step 1 Heat up a pot or pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup water and let come to boil. Add blackberries and lemon zest. Let boil together, stirring occasionally, until water completely evaporates. Add remainder of water, and let simmer over medium-low heat until water has evaporated and it resembles jam.
Step 2 To preserve this jam, since we didn't add sugar and cooked it rather quickly, spoon it into a mason jar, screw on the lid, and flip it over. This makes the heat escape out of the lid on the bottom and gravity continues to push out any extraneous non-sterile air. This keeps oxygen from getting in it and your preserves perfectly fresh without any additives!
Step 3 Store in the refrigerator until ready to use then use within the week for best results. Can keep up to 14 days normally after opening.

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