Very Berry (but Very Perishable) Jam

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With summer’s end approaching, I’m trying harder than usual to use (or figure out how to store and save) all of the different herbs I’ve been growing in my garden. I decided to try my hand at making a mixed berry and thyme jam, using a super easy recipe I found on the Food Network website as my inspiration. I did modify it a little: I added raspberries alongside the blueberries and strawberries, I replaced the maple syrup with honey, and I swapped out the orange juice for organic tart cherry juice.

Though the jam tastes delicious, I don’t think I’d recommend the recipe simply because it cost more money to go out and buy all of the fruit (which yielded three jars of jam) than it would have cost to buy a similar amount of prepackaged jam. On the plus side, my homemade jam has no preservatives; on the downside, that means it only lasts about a month before it goes bad.

But in case you do want to make this jam (or a similar jam), I’ll walk you through it a bit. First, I picked my thyme leaves. I made the mistake of not chopping them beforehand, so now my jam has some twiggy bits in it. I highly recommend chopping your leaves first!

Thyme Leaves

Combine the thyme leaves with the fruit in a big bowl and mash up the fruit as best you can. I wanted some big fruit chunks in my jam, so I didn’t worry too much about that step. Add the juice, the honey (or maple syrup), and pour it all into a saucepan. Bring it to a simmer, stir occasionally, and basically just let it sit there until it starts to get thick (though mine never got as thick as I had hoped it would). Once you’re satisfied with it (or get impatient, like I did), pour it into your mason jars and let it sit out to cool for about an hour or two. Then just seal the jars and pop it in the fridge.

Just don’t forget it’s there, because the clock is already ticking!

Berry Jam Jars

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