Oregon Grape Jam

2019 - Kjell Hedström

When scouting I was pleasantly surprised to see the hill sides literally shining with specks of blue. The Oregon Grapes are having a great year and from beginning of August till end of the month is a great time to pick them.

The O.grapes are tart. Eating them raw will give you an acidic taste explosion that will hint of the greatness to come - the sourness will likely discourage you from eating many raw.

Cooked into Oregon Grape Juice or Jam it will truly shine! You can find the juice recipe at the bottom of this page

Cooked up into syrup, jellies or jam the flavorful berry will beat most other berries. It will absolutely outcompete any jam you can find in the grocery aisles.

The trick to a good O.grape jam is to clean them good. The hair like stems and the seeds should be removed as good as you can. The less work intense method I’ve found to remove the stems is by freezing them after initial cleaning. Freeze them on a flat baking sheet makes sure they don’t clump together. Once frozen, pour them into a big pot. Lid on. Shake vigorously for 2 minutes and then it’s done. Most stems will have fallen to the bottom of the pot.

Take care to reduce the pesky seeds once the berries are mashed. The seeds are slightly larger than raspberry seeds. For a good jam the seeds are too large and too many to ignore since each berry has a couple of them.

Reduce the amount of seeds

The easiest way to remove them is to use a tea sieve. Just scoop them up when they float to the top during the jam cooking. You will loose some berry pulp but it’s wort it to reduce the amount of seeds.


  • 3 qt cleaned and washed Oregon grapes

  • 1.5 qt sugar is my preference. It’ll keep the jam slightly tart. My US coworkers and my kids prefer 1.75qt sugar for a slightly sweeter version.

  • 1 bag sure-jell pectin*

  • 3 tbsp rum, brandy or other flavorful liquor*

  • 1.5 tsp citric acid or 3/4 cups (12 tbsp) of lemon juice.

  • 1 1/4 water (3dl)

  • Sterilized (boiling water dipped) canning jars.


  • Add berries, sugar, and water into a large pot on medium heat.

  • Stir the berry mix until the sugar is melted.

  • Keep the berry mixture boiling for 20-30 minutes. Make sure to stir now and then.

  • Decrease the heat and use a potato masher to gently mash the berries into jam. This takes about 5-7 minutes for me. Take care to not splash the hot jam sauce - it’s hot and painful.

  • Increase the heat to medium and once it starts to boil gently give it another good stir. Wait for the seeds to come to the surface. Scoop the seeds up with a tea sieve and remove them.

  • Cook for another 10 minutes then add the citric acid together with the pectin in the next step.

  • * Add the liquor and the pectin (according to the pectin package instructions)

  • Pour into the sterilized jars. Leave only a little space. Make sure to wipe off any jam that got into the can’s lid grooves.

  • Can the jars. I use water canning and let them boil for approximately 10 - 15. minutes. If you are new to canning then look up the instructions online. USDA has free canning instructions.

Enjoy the jam on toast, on PB sandwich, with cheese, pancakes or anyway you like.

English breakfast muffins with Oregon Grape jam