July is Salmonberry season on the Island of Kodiak. Salmonberries are completely new to me, but I had to investigate since my summer residence is surrounded with them. They are bush berries that look like pretty large raspberries but have a milder/strawberry-esque taste. They range in hue from pink to dark purple.
I discovered that the name Salmonberry comes from Alaskan Native culture. Natives traditionally eat the berries with Salmon roe. The salmon begin their run around the same time as the berries ripen so they are seasonally pared well. I have not tried the berries and roe yet.
We picked lots and lots of berries for jam. I froze two gallons for later, and there are still some beautiful berries on the bush calling my name.
This jam is fantastic, but it took two times for me to get it right. Salmonberries have a lot more water than other berries and the jam takes more time to reduce, so if you are aquainted with other berry jam recipes just give yourself more time for the boil down phase.
The ratio of this recipe is:
1 cup Salmonberries
2/3 cup Sugar
Adjust for the amount of berries you pick. The larger your amount of berries the longer it is going to take for your jam to reduce.
1. In a heavy bottomed stockpot or dutch oven combine your berries and sugar.
2. Over medium-high heat bring your berry mixture to a boil. Stir pretty regularly while the mixture is heating up. This is also a great time to prep your jars and lids.
3. When the jam reaches a full boil reduce heat to medium/low, or a low rolling boil. Continue to boil until the jam is thick to your liking. A good test is to place a spoon in the freezer, scoop out a little of your jam and if it gells well your jam is done.
4. Ladel into prepared, sterilized jars and process for 10 minutes. Enjoy!