Blackcap Jam

I grew up in upstate New York, in a small little town, and I used to pick black caps until my fingers turned a lovely dark purple. We lived out in the country and we used to call blackberries and black raspberries black caps.  I am not sure what the difference is and no one that I’ve talked with seems to know. If any of you have any insight let me know!

The jam in the picture is freezer jam.  Freezer jam is much easier to process and very tasty, but overall my mom says her preference is cooked jam. It does take longer but the consistency thicker, more like what you’d expect jam to be. Many people swear by freezer jam, and I use it as well.

I’m listing both methods for you to try out.

Ingredients

Freezer Jam

  • 4 cup fully ripened Blackberries
  • 3 cups sugar (or less if desired - I usually do less)
  • 1 box freezer jam pectin
  • 1 cup water

Cooked Jam

  • 4 cups fruit
  • 7 cups sugar (I would reduce, but this is what it will call for)
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 1 pouch fruit pectin

Directions

Freezer Jam

  1. Crush the fruit in a large bowl. If you don't like the seeds crush it through a sieve to remove them.
  2. Combine the sugar and freezer jam pectin and mix well.
  3. Fill jars. Leave a little head space for expanding.
  4. Keep in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in freezer for 1 year.

Cooking Method

  1. Crush fruit in large bowl. Once it is crushed transfer to a saucepan.
  2. Mix in the sugar and allow to boil. Add the butter to reduce the foaming.
  3. Bring mixture to full rolling boil. Then add pectin.
  4. Keep boiling for one minute stirring consistently. Remove from heat.
  5. Immediately ladle into jars. Jars should be steaming hot when filling with hot liquid. They should seal themselves if both are hot. If they do not seal return to canner and boil for an additional few minutes.

7 thoughts on “Blackcap Jam

  1. I have never heard of “blackcaps,” but my grandparents’ backyard was always full of both blackberries and black raspberries! I personally prefer the latter tremendously- they’re much sweeter than the blackberries. Blackberries are also longer and the little bumps are bigger. In my opinion, blackberries need something sweet like black raspberries to make them palatable! :)

    I enjoy reading your posts- keep it up! :)

  2. My husband and Ilive in upstate NY also – we just discovered a HUGE black cap patch on our property and filled several containers tonight with plans of picking more tomorrow. We want to make a good jam recipe – how much does your recipe yield? Do you need to prepare the jars in any special way before doing the freezer method? Thank you for your recipe – I really didn’t think I’d find a site for “black caps” – just didn’t know what else to call them!!

  3. My husband and Ilive in upstate NY also – we just discovered a HUGE black cap patch on our property and filled several containers tonight with plans of picking more tomorrow. We want to make a good jam recipe – how much does your recipe yield? Do you need to prepare the jars in any special way before doing the freezer method? Thank you for your recipe – I really didn’t think I’d find a site for “black caps” – just didn’t know what else to call them!!

  4. Peggy,

    That is so great that you have black caps right in your back yard. I miss eating them in the summer.

    3 pints of black caps will make about 7 cups of jam. This is quite a bit of jam and will fill quite a few jam sized jars. You can either use the regular glass jelly jars for canning or there are freezer jam containers that you can buy too which are plastic. Either one works fine. Just make sure they are sterile. You can run them through your dishwasher and that should do the job for you. Hope you enjoy the jam!!

  5. Black caps are black raspberries, blackberries are blackberries. We have both on our land in WI and black caps are ready earlier and blackberries have far worse thorns.

  6. I agree with the comments by Kristen. Blackberries are larger than blackcaps and I would expect that they are not as “seedy” as blackcaps. I sieve the blackcaps through a fine mesh sieve prior to using the pulp in freezer jam. It works well but is fairly time consuming but it yields a great jam!

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