Salal Jam (Improved)

Published at 23:00 on 11 August 2013

I tried making salal jam once before, and I remember none of the recipes made that much sense for me. Most were actually for jelly, not jam (which is a lot more work). I picked one and tried it, and found the results disappointing.

This time, I went back the the recipe I used before, and adjusted it a little bit. The result was much improved. Here’s what I came up with:

8 cups salal berries, unmashed1
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced

Wash berries and remove foreign matter (fir needles, etc). Add 1/2 cup water and cook until soft (2-5 minutes). Run the softened berries through a Foley food mill.2 Add lemon juice to results, bring to boil, add sugar, stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until sugar dissolves, return to boil, remove from heat.

Apply the standard 10-minute processing in a boiling-water canner.

You might have noticed there is no pectin in the above recipe. Salal berries are naturally high in pectin. Commercial pectin is not needed.

1 Most jam recipes call for measuring raw mashed berries. Forget it; even fully ripe salal berries are too firm to mash raw. Moreover, I managed to pick most of mine without the stems; if most of yours have stems, you might want to increase the measure to compensate.

2 Or if you’re into upscale, electric appliances, I suppose a food processor could do this as well. Just be sure to use an attachment that runs the berries through a mesh of some sort as well as mashing them. You do want to get the skins and stray stems out.


    • Oops! I didn’t include the yield. I got a little over 5 8 oz. jars out of it. I had a little extra I just poured into a small jar and used fresh without canning.

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