Blueberry, Raspberry, Allspice & Rum Jam!
Ashley English Guest Post

You need Ashley English!

That was the response I got when I put out a canning question a couple of years ago into the Twitterverse. I can’t even remember what the question was anymore but sure enough, I sought out Ashley English’s website, Small Measure and found her email address.

She emailed me back that day, solved my canning problem and set herself up for a barrage of questions from me over the next 2 years. I’m still asking her questions! I just asked her a question about my chickens a few days ago as a matter of fact!

My most recent question was “Would you please write a guest post for me?”. As is always the case with Ashely, she provided me with the answer I was lookin’ for.





Hi everyone! Ashley English from Small Measure  here. Happy to be guest posting while Karen gets some much needed R&R!

Berry season is here.  When Karen asked if i could provide a guest post while she’s away, my mind went right away to offering some sort of jam recipe. Since I enjoyed a jar of this just last night, here’s a recipe for my “Blueberry & Raspberry Allspice and Rum Jam.”   So. Good.

I originally posted the recipe back in an equally hot june 2010. i hope you enjoy! and thanks again, karen, for roping me in!



Here I am, on a hot, sticky Friday night, the gentle rumble of a mountain thunderstorm calling outside, stirring jam and lifting jars in and out of a boiling cauldron.

When I came up with this jam recipe, I took the liberty of mixing two options, blueberry and raspberry. Doesn’t get much more summertime than berries! And with a hint of allspice and a kiss of dark rum, these beauties will be a timely, and undoubtedly well-received, gift come the holidays!

Blueberry-Raspberry Jam with Allspice & Rum
Yield: Eighteen 4-ounce jars, or 4-5 pint jars.

You will need:
-2 pints (4 c.) blueberries, fresh or frozen
-1 pint (2 c.) raspberries, fresh or frozen
-6 c. granulated sugar
-1/4 c. dark rum
-2 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
-1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
-2 packets liquid pectin

To prepare:
1. Sterilize mason jars, lids, and screw rings in size of your choice. Fill a canner or large stockpot with water and set over medium-high heat. Bring just to the boiling point. Place the lids in a small saucepan, fill with water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and set the pan aside.
2. Rinse berries gently with cold water. Using either a potato masher or quick pulses in a food processor, mash the berries coarsely (be sure to leave chunky bits; your objective is to mash, not to blend to uniformity).
3. Place mashed berries, sugar, rum, lemon juice, and allspice in a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring continually.
4. Once mixture achieves a full, rolling boil, add liquid pectin. Stir constantly for one minute. Remove from heat and, using a skimmer or slotted metal spoon, skim off any foam.
4. Remove the hot jars from the canner and place them on top of a kitchen cloth on the counter. With the help of a canning funnel, ladle the jam into the jars, reserving 1/4-inch headspace. Use a nonmetallic spatula to remove any trapped air bubbles and wipe the rims clean with a damp cloth. Place on the lids and screw bands, tightening only until fingertip-tight.
5. Using a jar lifter, place the filled jars into the canner. Process for 10 minutes, beginning processing time only once water is at a full, rolling boil. Remember to adjust for altitude.

You can find Ashley on Twitter and her website Small Measure.


  1. Shauna says:

    Can I use 8 oz. mason jelly jars? how would the processing times differ? I have off work this week and was hoping to do this with my jelly jars that I have on hand.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shauna – 10 minutes is the required time for pint jars (the ones you have) and 5 minutes is for the small jars. So you can process for 10 minutes. Sorry I realize it doesn’t say that in the post. ~ karen!

      • Shauna says:

        okay, thanks. I don’t have the pint size though, I have the 8 oz. jelly jars. Half pint? But, there not the 4 oz. jars. Ashley only gave times for the 4 oz. and the pint size. Just confirming, did you mean half pint 10 minutes? Sorry, to bother you;) Thanks for helping.

        • Karen says:

          I checked and double checked and the USDA says you only need 5 minutes of processing. If you want to be super-safe, go for 10. The only negative is it can turn the jam dark and runny. I would just do 5. ~ k!

        • Shauna says:

          YAY!!! I did it Karen! I am so excited, my first canning project complete. Thanks for all your help and your many posts on canning with photos. You plus the Blue Book made it easy for me to feel confident in what I was doing. For a second I panicked when I heard all the pops on the lids, but then remembered that I wanted to hear those pops and now all my lids are sucked down tight. What is the shelf life on these? I’ll check to the other comments and answers – please disregard the question if it’s already been answered.

          Thanks again! -S

        • Karen says:

          Shauna – Keep them in a dark cupboard and they’ll last as long as you want! That’s the point of canning. I mean … I probably wouldn’t try to make them last for a decade or anything, but … Generally speaking I do jam once a year and it lasts the year. I double batch tomatoes so I only have to do them once every 2 years. So when I’m often working on / eating tomatoes that are canned for 2 years. No problem at all. ~ karen!

  2. andrew says:

    I am extremely new to canning and I was wondering how long this jam will stay good for? Also is this freezer jam? I’m not really sure what the difference is between freezer jam and regular jam other than the obvious.Sounds delicious

    • Karen says:

      Hi Andrew – Jarred jam (whether freezer jam or water bath/pressure canned) lasts for about a year. It won’t go bad, it’ll just have reduced quality. Freezer jam usually doesn’t involve cooking. You mash up your fruit, sugar and pectin, pour the mixture into jars and store it in the freezer. This jam is made with the boiling water bath method. (that’s when you set your prepared jars of jam into a big pot filled with boiling water and let it boil while in the jars for the allotted time). When you use a boiling water bath or pressure canning method you can just leave your jars in the cupboard like you would any store bought jam/broth or whatever. I actually have a post coming up next week on how to pressure can chicken broth. Probably not the best thing for a beginner though. You can try this Certo strawberry jam recipe as a first attempt … it doesn’t involve a water bath or pressure canning. It’s a good first foray into canning … Good luck! Canning’s a shitload of fun. ~ karen

  3. Leona says:

    Ok, I’m inspired. I have always avoided the scary jam making thing. But, I have some questions. I like to make things without using any item that I would not have access to when the world ends. (Hey, it’s just my thing.) So, recipe’s without pectin? I heard of some that use honey instead of sugar too. Do you know any good sites of recipes a Kitchen Klutz like me can use?


    • Karen says:

      Hi Leona, I’m answering for Ashely here. I understand what you’re saying about the whole, “foods you’ll have access to when the world ends”, LOL. However … you *will* have access to pectin when the world ends. You’ll just have to make it yourself. You see, pectin is 100% natural. People are usually a bit confused about what pectin actually is. It isn’t a sweetener necessarily. It’s actually a carbohydrate that’s inside fruit. When it mixes with sugar and acid it creates a gel. Which in turn, makes your jam nice and thick and jammy. Sour apples make the best pectin but it’s a pain in the ass to make it. So, you truly can go out and buy pectin without worrying that it’s some weirdo ingredient. It is not. Conversely you can make jam recipes that don’t call for pectin at all. These are usually things that contain fruits that are high in pectin like apples. You can make the ever popular apple jam. ?? Good luck. ~ karen!

      • Leona says:

        Ohhhh, it’s a trick. Like the Stevia I’m trying to grow. (Epic Fail so far)

        Gonna gets me some pectin and roll up my sleeveies for the first run.

        Thanks! (And, welcome back.)

    • Ann Ashmore says:

      Rasberry seeds naturally have pectin inside them, that I never add pectin to my favorite Rasberry Preserves recipe below:
      Raspberry Preserves
      Prep Time: 20 mins
      Total Time: 30 mins.
      Yield: 4 cups fresh berries = roughly1 lb of fresh berries= 5 to 6 cups of finished preserves.
      No Certo needed. The raspberries have natural pectin in their seeds and that is enough to thicken it. When the jam reaches a full rolling boil it will double in volume.
      4 cups mashed raspberries
      4 cups sugar
      4 Tbls freshly squeezed, strained lemon juice
      1. Use a very large pot.
      2. Heat roughly mashed berries (leave seeds in) and lemon juice until they reach a full rolling boil.
      3. Boil 2 minutes.
      4. Add sugar.
      5. Stir well.
      6. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, boil for 4 minutes.
      7. Remove from heat.
      8. Stir gently for 4 more minutes.
      9. Pour in sterilized jars and seal. Keep in refrigerator or freezer or
      10. Go one additional step: process immediately in covered water bath of boiling water at 180 degrees for 10 minutes, then let sit for 12 hrs at room temp, before checking seal and then ONLY IF tight, store between 50-70 degrees in pantry (away from light) up to a year, although truth be told, I keep mine longer. Once opened, store in refrigerator. The color of this delicious preserve, seeds and all, is beautiful!

  4. Jo says:

    Hi Ashley:
    Thanks for the delicious recipe for summer berries! I’ll be picking wild blackberries, so I think I”ll use those instead of raspberries.

    I notice you use short jars. I like to use 125ml jars for little gifts. But I can’t find a way to stop them from floating in the canner. I’ve tried various depths of water but the jars always turn over and float. I even tried putting a small rock on the lid of each jar — floating jars … but clean rocks. Do you ever have a problem with floating jars — or better still, a tip for avoiding it?

    • Ann Ashmore says:

      I suggest using a smaller saucepan or pot for the job so when the water is 1 inch above top of lids, it’s only a few inches from top of pot. When I use the smaller jars I put them in pots that are either 3 1/2 inches high or 5 1/2 inches high.

      The last suggestion I offer is to always place a folded, clean thick cotton dish towel or hand towel in the bottom of a larger pot which will absorb some of the motion from a GENTLE boil, thus helping smaller jars to not knock around so much that they tilt. I place the jars right on the folded towel and skip the rack entirely. Placing in, jars all of the same size, so there’s only a small space between jars will also help. Good luck!

  5. Claudine says:

    Thanks for filling in Ashley!

    Your recipe sounds tasty. That was very nice of you to share it.

    I let my jam sit for four or five minutes after it reaches the set stage, before I put it into the jars. Giving it a gentle stir then will mix the solids throughout the jam, rather than having them rise to the top.

  6. Winegirl says:

    Well Damn. I wasn’t going to can this year… guess I’m revising my thinking. And i just bought blueberries today, (sigh) guess I’ll go back for raspberries tomorrow. Unless you want to add me to your Christmas list? Yum.

  7. Shauna says:

    I can totally do this! I’ve had my canning equipment for about a year now and have yet to get up enough guts to can anything. This is something I can totally do. Printing now;) Thanks Ashley!

  8. jen says:

    looks amazing. yum!

  9. Stephanie says:

    Please excuse my lameness…but what do you recommend putting boozy jam on/use it for? Serving suggestions?

    • Karen says:

      Stephanie – Scones, toast, oatmeal, … anything you’d put jam on. It won’t taste like a cocktail, just have a hint of rum flavour. ~ k!

  10. SK Farm Girl says:

    Will definately be trying this one! You had me at “rum”; is that wrong?! LOL! BTW Ashley, I LOVE your glasses! Happy canning everyone 🙂

  11. Marion says:

    This looks great! I’ve already decided this is the year that I divulge homemade/canned items to friends/family this Christmas, and this seems like the perfect addition to that cheap…err…heartfelt(?) basket of goodies coming there way in a few months! Thanks for this recipe!

  12. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Looks yummy Ashley..Thanks!

  13. Melissa says:

    This looks very tasty. Thanks for the post.

  14. jojo says:

    Definitely not one of the True Jams.
    Looks really, relly tasty, and I might have to try this receipe… but I don’t know that it will fly in my family of jam purists (which means all the more for me).

  15. great, I’ve both blueberries and raspberries in the garden at the moment, so can make this!!

    Tip…a knob of butter added at rolling boil stage stops that foam from forming.

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