Every July we go to my childhood cabin in Michigans Upper Peninsula. The cabin sits on a small inland lake and was built by my grandpa and my dad. The cabin is log, has a sauna, and is on a secluded side of the lake where eagles fly and loons call. It’s one of my favorite places in the entire world to be. When we go in mid-/end of July the thimbleberries are always ripe and tasty! We pick them by the bucket full and then we make thimbleberry jam. Thimbleberries are a coveted berry in this part of the country because they are not found as easily as most wild berries. Thimbleberries are popular in parts of the mid-west and on the east coast.
After picking the ripe berries you spread them out on a baking pan. Pick out the small twigs, leaves, any little bugs, or blemished berries that got into your bucket.
You can freeze the berries in zip loc bags to make jam later or make the jam immediately.
- Boil the berries in a pot on medium heat. Stir continually so they do not burn. The berries will start to naturally break down into a liquid and mashed form.
- Once the berries look partially smashed and heated through…turn down the burner heat to the lowest temp.
- Add 3/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of berries. Use less sugar if you want a more “earthy” or “natural” berry taste.
- Stir the sugar until well blended. Turn the burner back up to medium. Stirring consistently for 5-10 minutes.
- After 5-10 minutes and the sugar has blended nicely turn off and remove the pot from the burner and let sit and cool.
- Once the jam is cool…add to mason jars. Cap. Eat immediately, refrigerate or place in pantry for later use.