Farm Fresh Marionberry Jam Recipe {for Canning}

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure.

Smooth, sweet, and full of rich flavor, this marionberry jam is an easy and delicious way to save your bounty of berries for later!

jars of marionberry jam stacked on top of each other.

Why you’ll love this marionberry jam recipe


  • Easy: By using a little pectin, your jam will set so fast, and it only requires 3 ingredients! So simple!
  • Delicious: Since this is a lower sugar recipe, you can really taste the full flavor of the marionberries in this simple jam recipe. You’ll want to use it on everything.
  • Small batches: I love working with flexible jam recipes like this! You can make as little as two half-pint jars or as many as ten simply by scaling the basic recipe. Perfect for beginners!

What are marionberries?

These gorgeous berries are actually a type of blackberries. They were cultivated in Oregon back in the 1940s-1950s when breeders at Oregon State University crossed Olallie and Chehalem blackberries. They were named after Marion County, Oregon, where they were created.

These days, there are many Oregon growers who raise these berries, but they’re less common here in Washington and especially outside of the PNW. If you’re lucky enough to have some in your area, be sure to make some jam to savor these berries after their growing season ends!

image of marionberries growing on the vines.

What do marionberries taste like?

Well, they taste like blackberries. Really good blackberries. They’re actually called the “cabernet of blackberries” because they have an earthy, rich flavor that regular blackberries can’t quite touch. I find them to be incredibly delicious and try to stash at least one gallon bag of frozen berries in my freezer every summer. 

What does marionberry jam taste like?

Marionberry jam tastes like regular blackberry jam but with a more nuanced earthy flavor. It’s sweet, slightly tart, smooth, and has some more complex flavor notes that linger. It’s absolutely delicious and just may become your new favorite jam!

Equipment

​If you plan to water bath can this marionberry jam recipe, you’ll have a few extra supplies to gather. Just want to refrigerate it for later? You won’t need the canning setup and can get by with the shorter supply list.

Water bath canning:

  • Water bath canner
  • Small saucepan for lids and bands
  • Jar lifter & canning tools
  • Clean rags and towels
ingredients to make marionberry jam from scratch.

Ingredients

  • Fresh marionberries: Mash your berries with a potato masher or use an immersion blender to break apart the big chunks.
  • Sugar: Use regular granulated sugar. You’ll need 1 cup per every 1 1/3 cup of mashed Oregon marionberries.
  • Pectin: I prefer to use Ball RealFruit pectin. You can find it at your local grocery store or online.

Note: You can easily vary this recipe to make more or less. Simply follow these basic ratios to make sure the pectin will set properly:

  • 1 1/3 cups mashed berries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBS pectin

How to Make Marionberry Jam

This jam is made following the Ball blackberry jam recipe to make sure it is safe to can and will set properly. If you use a different type of pectin, adjust your measurements and follow the instructions on the container.

  1. Mash your marionberries and add them with your sugar to your dutch oven. Sprinkle the pectin overtop and stir to combine.
  2. Set the heat to medium or medium high and stir often.
  3. Use a spoon to remove any foam.
  4. Cook until the jam sets (see the notes about the wrinkle test and gel test below).
  5. Remove from heat and follow the storage instructions below.
step by step instructions for how to make marionberry jam from scratch.

How do you know when your marionberry jam is set?

There are three ways to know! If this is your first time, please take note of this section to make sure you have a delicious jam. Even if your jam is a little runny, it will be delicious, but these tricks will help you have the best blackberry jam every time.

  • Gel Test: Place a small plate in the freezer while your jam is cooking. Add a small spoonful to the chilled plate and run your finger through it. If the jam does not run back to the line you drew, it’s thick enough.
  • Wrinkle Test: Scoop up some jam in your ladle or tilt your saucepan to the side. If it looks wrinkly on top, it’s done! It doesn’t have to be quite as wrinkly as the picture below.
  • Temperature Test: ​This is the easiest and most fail-proof test. Use a digital thermometer to monitor your jam. When it reaches 200 degrees F, it’s done!

Canning Marionberry Jam

If you plan to can this jam, you’ll need to follow a few additional steps. If you’ve canned before, you probably already know the tools and supplies you’ll need to gather. For new canners, just follow the steps below and you’ll do just fine!

Prepare the stockpot and jars

  • Fill your water bath canner or large stockpot with water about 6 inches high. Place it over medium heat and add the clean jars you want to use. You’ll need to simmer the water for about 10 minutes to sterilize the jars.
  • In a small saucepan, add your brand new lids and bands (these can be reused) and enough water to cover them. Set them over low heat.
steps for canning marionberry jam.

Fill the jars

  • Once the jam has set, remove it from the heat. 
  • Remove the sterilized jars from the water bath canner and set them upside down on a clean kitchen towel to drain off the excess liquid.
  • Turn the jars over and set the wide-mouth funnel into the jar. Using the ladle, fill the jars until they are 1/4 inch from the top of the jar (this is the headspace). Fill all the jars. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any residue from the jam to ensure a safe seal.

Seal the jars

  • Use the tongs from your canning set or silicone tongs to remove the bands and lids from the water. Set them on a towel to dry off.
  • Set the lid on top of your jar and make sure the silicone seal is situated over the top of the jar. Secure the lid with the band. Tighten it as much as you can using your hands. No need to overdo it. Seal all of your jars.
  • Using your jar lifter, place your jars into your water bath canner. If your jars have cooled down, I recommend carefully dunking the jars in the water a few times to warm them up before setting them down. This can help you avoid breaking.

Begin processing the jam

  • Cover the jars with water until they have at least 1 inch of water covering them. Turn the heat up to medium or medium high heat and cover the canner.
  • When the canner is boiling, set a timer for 10 minutes (see notes below about how long to process at different sea levels). After that, turn off the stovetop. Let the jars sit in the water for 5 minutes.

Cool the jars

  • Remove the jars from the canner and set them on a clean, dry kitchen towel. Leave them undisturbed for 12-24 hours. After that, remove the band (not the lid) and check that you have a good, strong seal. If the jar is open, store the jam in the fridge. 
  • Store your properly sealed jars in the pantry for a year or more. Use as desired!
Curious about my pretty green pans? Learn more about them in this post.

How long do you need to process your jars?

The answer depends on your elevation, and these times are for processing half-pint jars only.

ElevationProcessing Time
Sea level to 1,000 feet10 minutes
1,001 to 3,000 feet15 minutes
3,001 – 6,000 feet20 minutes
6,001 – 8,000 feet25 minutes
8,001 to 10,000 feet30 minutes

Storing

  • Water bath canning: If properly canned, your jam will last a minimum of a year. Most canning lids are tested for one year, but they’ll often last much longer.
  • Fridge: Keep your fresh jam in the fridge in an airtight jar for up to one month. If you see any mold, toss it.
  • Freezer: Let your jam cool to room temperature, then chill it in the fridge. Be sure to leave a one-inch head space. Once fully cooled, seal and free the jars for up to 1 year. To use, thaw the jam in your fridge and use like normal.

Serving Suggestions

This marionberry jam can be used just like your favorite blackberry jam!

  • Make the best peanut butter and jelly (try this honey wheat sourdough for the best sandwiches)
  • Stir into oatmeal or yogurt
  • Drizzle over vanilla ice cream
  • Spoon over baked brie to eat with crusty baguette slices
homemade marionberry jam spread on toast.

Tips & Variations

  • If you don’t feel like canning and want to reduce the amount of sugar you use, you can actually use chia seeds instead of pectin in this simple recipe! You’ll need about 1 TBS of chia seeds per cup of mashed berries. Feel free to sweeten to taste with maple syrup and skip the sugar. 
  • If you’d like to use frozen blackberries, just let them thaw overnight first.
  • To make marionberry preserves, do not blitz up the fruit and leave it chunky.
  • This is the exact same recipe I use for regular blackberry jam. The only difference is the type of berries.
  • If you’re canning, take the time to clean off and sanitize a section of the counter and wash all of your tools.
  • Blackberries can foam up, and they like to splatter! Use a slightly larger pot than you think you’ll need for making the jam, and wipe up any splatter quickly to avoid staining your walls.
  • When you’re making jam, you don’t need to use the highest quality fruit. This is a great way to use up fruit that is starting to soften, but don’t use any rotting or moldy fruit.
  • If you don’t end up with exactly 4 full jars at the end, know that’s normal. You lose some every time you try the gel test or as the jam cooks down and sticks to the side of the pan. Feel free to add an extra half cup of mashed berries to try to offset this.
  • If you are only making a few jars, you can use a smaller stockpot as long as you can get at least 1 inch of water over the tops of your jars.

FAQs

Do you need to use pectin for marionberry jam?

Like all blackberries, marionberries are naturally high in pectin. This means we don’t need to use pectin, right? Although this is true and you can certainly make wonderful jam without pectin, I do prefer to use it for several reasons.

First, most traditional jams are extremely high in sugar. You often need almost equal parts berries and sugar to get them to thicken up! Plus, it takes forever. When you use pectin, you can make a lower sugar jam, and it will set faster, keeping more of that fresh berry flavor intact.

I prefer to use Ball RealFruit pectin. It’s always available in my local grocery store or hardware store and works great!

​Should you strain marionberry jam?

That’s totally up to you! I’m not a big fan of seeds in jam, so I almost always strain my blackberry jam. However, I find marionberries don’t have a ton of seeds and so straining it isn’t really necessary. If you do strain it, you’ll technically make marionberry jelly! I love jellies made with real fruit like this.

Do you need to add lemon juice to marionberry jam?

​Depending on the recipe you use, you don’t always need to use lemon juice. Since I use Ball’s RealFruit pectin and it does not require lemon juice for blackberries (and marionberries are blackberries), I skip it. If you are an anxious canner or just prefer a more tart flavor, feel free to add up to 1 TBS lemon juice per batch (2 TBS for the recipe below).

free food preservation challenge email signup.

Get the Free Food Preservation Email Challenge!

Want to learn how to preserve the harvest without a lot of space or materials? Sign up for my free 6-day email challenge!

I’ll share my favorite low-prep ways to preserve the harvest that you can do with any basic kitchen setup – no fancy equipment required!

Related Recipes

jars of marionberry jam stacked on top of each other.
featured image for marionberry jam.

Marionberry Jam

Smooth, sweet, and full of rich flavor, this marionberry jam is an easy and delicious way to save your bounty of berries for later!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Canning 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course jam, sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 64 servings
Calories 29 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

Prepare the jam

  • Mash your marionberries and add them with your sugar to your dutch oven. Sprinkle the pectin overtop and stir to combine.
  • Set the heat to medium or medium high and stir often.
  • Use a spoon to remove any foam.
  • Cook until the jam sets (see the notes below).
  • Remove from heat and follow the storage instructions below.

Canning marionberry jam

  • Fill your water bath canner or large stockpot with water about 6 inches high. Place it over medium heat and add the clean jars you want to use. Simmer the water for about 10 minutes to sterilize the jars.
  • Add your lids to a small saucepan and cover with water. Set to medium heat.
  • Remove sterilized jars from stockpot and set them upside down on a towel to remove excess water.
  • Turn the jars over. Set the canning funnel in the mouth of the jar and fill with jam. Use the headspace tool to make sure there is a 1/4 inch headspace.
  • Use a damp cloth to remove any residue from the rim of each jar.
  • Remove the lids and bands from the small saucepan and dry them off. Set a lid on each jar and screw on the band until finger-tight.
  • Using your jar lifter, carefully place your jars into the stockpot. If the jars have cooled, quickly dip them several times first to avoid shock. Cover with water until there is one inch of water over the jars.
  • Put the lid on the canner and turn up the heat. When it is at a full boil, set a timer for 10 minutes (see processing times below). After that, turn off the stove and let the jars rest in the canner for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the canner using your jar lifter. Set the ajrs on a clean, dry cloth and leave undisturbed for 12-24 hours.
  • After that, remove the bands (not the lids) to check the seal. For any jars that did not seal, store them in the fridge. All other jars can be stored in your pantry.

Notes

This recipe makes enough for 4 half-pint jars of jam (give or take). When properly canned, they will last for at least a year in your pantry. If your jam does not seal, it must be stored in the fridge.
Tips for success:
  • If you are only making a few jars, you can use a smaller stockpot as long as you can get at least 1 inch of water over the tops of your jars.
  • Thaw frozen blackberries overnight before using.
  • To make marionberry preserves, do not blitz up the fruit and leave it chunky.
  • You can follow this exact same recipe for any other type of blackberries, too.
  • If you’re canning, take the time to clean off and sanitize a section of the counter and wash all of your tools.
  • Wipe up any splatter quickly to avoid staining your walls.
  • It’s okay to use soft, over-ripe fruit, but don’t use any rotting or moldy berries. 
  • It’s normal to have a little extra or not quite enough jam at the end as it really depends on the moisture level in your fruit.
Processing Times
If you live above sea level, you need to increase your processing time 1 minute per every 1,000 feet. To keep it easy, follow this chart:
Elevation Processing Time
Sea level to 1,000 feet 10 minutes
1,001 to 3,000 feet 15 minutes
3,001 – 6,000 feet 20 minutes
6,001 – 8,000 feet 25 minutes
8,001 to 10,000 feet 30 minutes
   
How to tell if your jam is set:
  • Gel test: Add a spoonful of jam to a frozen plate. Run your finger through it. If it does not fill in the line from your finger, it’s set.
  • Wrinkle test: Tilt your pot to the side. If you see wrinkles, it’s done.
  • Temperature test: Your jam needs to reach 200 degrees F to set. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbspCalories: 29kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.001gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.02gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.003gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 10mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 13IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword jam with marionberries, marionberry jam
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to leave a star rating!

Similar Posts

5 Comments

  1. I love marionberries! Although, I might be biased since my oldest daughter’s name is Marion. 🙂 My kids’ favorite jams are always the berry ones, so this will be a great recipe for us. Thanks!

  2. This jam looks delicious. I have never heard of marionberry before. One of these days I will have to give it a whirl. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I never knew different jar processing times were needed for processing jars at different elevations. Great post, great info.

  4. I’d love to try some Marion berries. I can’t recall if I’ve ever had the chance! They sound delicious! We have plenty of regular blackberries around East Tennessee.

    Thank your for sharing your recipe at the Homestead Blog Hop! Your recipe is featured at this week’s blog hop!

    Laurie
    Ridge Haven Homestead

    1. Laurie, Wow! I’m so thankful for the feature! I’m sure you’d love these marionberries so hopefully you get a chance to try them someday!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.