Mrs. Fife’s Blackberry Jam

Mrs. Fife’s Blackberry Jam

Last night I was reading my youngest daughter the book: If You Give A Moose A Muffin.  After I tucked her in, I remembered I had found a recipe from 1904 for blackberry jam that I would make for her, and give her a muffin to go with it.

Mrs. Fife’s blackberry jam recipe is just blackberries and sugar.  It is a simple equation of equal weights of blackberries and sugar.  I didn’t follow that rule because after I weighed a half cup of sugar and realized I would need 2 cups of sugar for 1 pound of blackberries, it seemed like too much sugar.  I only used half the weight of sugar to berries.  To me having the control over the sugar content of my jam made cooking some at home worth it.  It turned out plenty sweet with just 1 cup versus 2 cups.

Making Jam

Mrs. Fife's Blackberry Jam

I used a 1 pound frozen package of blackberries and 1 cup of sugar.  I didn’t mash the berries through a sieve, because I don’t mind the seeds in my jam and it would create something else that I would need to wash after.  If you like seedless jam, mash the berries through a sieve before you cook them.  Otherwise, dump the blackberries into a saucepan and set over medium heat.  The recipe says to simmer for a half hour, so I only left the heat on medium until I had the berries mashed and then turned the heat to low.

I really had to watch this and stir frequently so it wouldn’t burn.  There were some berries that smeared onto the side of the pan while I was stirring that did turn dark, but it didn’t affect the taste in the end, but it will make scrubbing that pan clean a whole lot of fun a little later.

In the end, you will have some yummy blackberry jam that will go perfect on a muffin.  I made Mrs. Allison’s Muffins to go with this jam.  My five year old gave this little treat a two thumbs up and excitedly linked it to the book we read last night.  She enjoyed it.

Mrs. Fife's Blackberry Jam

The cost of the recipe ended up being $2.16 and it created 1 1/2 cups, which gives me 24 tablespoons at 9 cents each.  Pair them with Mrs. Allison’s Muffins and have a tasty snack for 18 cents.

Original Recipe

Blackberry Jam. Allow equal weight of sugar and berries. Wash half of the berries and sift all but the seeds through a fine sieve. Add the remainder of the berries mashed but not sifted, and simmer one half an hour, stirring frequently. Add sugar and boil 5 minutes. Turn into jars and seal when cold.
Mrs. Fife

Printed in the Boston Post on February 21, 1904

Blackberry Jam Recipe

Mrs. Fife's Blackberry Jam

A simple blackberry jam recipe from 1904

Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword Blackberry, Jam
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 24 tbsp
Calories 39 kcal


  • 1 lb blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar if following original recipe, use 2 cups


  1. For seedless jam, mash the blackberries through a sieve.

  2. Put the mashed berries into a medium saucepan and put over medium heat.  When the berries start to boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir frequently.

  3. After 30 minutes stir the sugar in and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour into a glass jar.  Let it cool.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 tbsp
Servings Per Container 24

Amount Per Serving
Calories 39 Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 10.2g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 9.3g
Protein 0g 0%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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