A few weeks ago, my friend Rich alerted me that olallieberry season was upon us. We’d previously talked about how much fun it would be to go berry picking, especially for the elusive olallieberry, a hybrid available almost exclusively in Central/Northern California and almost never in the grocery store. So on a sunny Sunday in late June, a bunch of us piled into the car and headed south to Swanton Berry Farms’ Coastways Ranch to pick some berries. We had a great time in the sun, picking strawberries and olallieberries with a central coast ocean breeze whipping our hair about and keeping us cool.
For more photos, please visit my Flickr set.
After a day of picking, we headed back to the Mooflyfood, Inc. kitchens in San Francisco. Rich started on a couple of olallieberry-strawberry pies, while I began the process of making jam. The reason I began canning again in 2008 was because I wanted to make olallieberry jam, but unfortunately I kept missing the season by a couple of weeks. I was excited to finally be making the jam I’d been waiting literally years to make. I cobbled together the recipe from a few different sources on the internet, modifying them extensively to suit my low-sugar preferences. This is what I did.
This should work fine with blackberries if you don’t have olallieberries in your area.
1 1.75 oz. package Sure-Jell no-sugar pectin (powder)
8 cups olallieberries (about 2.5 lbs)
4 cups sugar
In a large pot, crush berries with a potato masher. Stir in pectin and mix well. Heat mixture on high until it reaches a full boil. Add sugar all at once and mix well. Continue cooking on high heat till it reaches a full boil again, stirring constantly. Cook at a full boil for one more minute, skimming foam. Remove from heat. Ladle into sterilized jars and process. For a reminder on how to sterilize jars and process jam, please click here for my tutorial.
Yield: About 6 half-pint jars, maybe a little more.