Tayberry and Marionberry Jam, with a whisky twist

Know your tools, especially when it comes to jam making! Once the jam was made I found I did not have the correct size jars, could not find any lids and should have used 1 pint extra of berries. That said, I made a plan. In the bottle it went, and we’ll eat it soon enough anyhow! Long ago, on my very first trip abroad to England, I bought 3 of these plastic lined cloth lids. This is the last I have left, sadly.

In the end, this keto jam turned out very well. Also, I’ve made a discovery. I’ve never been a big fan of pectin, and never managed to get the proportions right and found it too dominant and chewy in jam. Also, I tend to wing it when I make jam! Therefore, may I introduce you to my healthier “make do”: gelatine! I’m sure I’m not the only person who uses it, but it feels like it! I know I am probably breaking all the rules of jam making purists out there but I love the softer texture it gives the setting and its good for you!


  • 2 pints of berries (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup xylitol birch sugar
  • 1/4 cup whisky or brandy
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon (I toss in the lemony bits too, not the pips)
  • 1 sachet (2 tblsp) gelatine
  • 1/3 cup warm water to add to gelatine or enough to stir into a soft paste

Wash berries, toss them in a deep pot, add sugar and bring the whole lot to a soft boil, stirring gently. Turn down to a simmer, add whisky, lemon juice too! Simmer stirring on occasion for about 20 to 25 minutes. It’s ready when it’s a deep purple red colour and the fragrance is less fruity and more jammy!

While the jam is simmering: In a separate little dish stir the warm water into the gelatine, leave it to stand and bloom. Sterilize your jars and lids. When your jam is done, stir in the gelatine with a small whisk.

Bottle, seal … and listen to that satisfying sound of the lid pop as it cools and sets – if you have a lid! I keep my jam in the fridge as it is not made with sugar, make in small quantities and we eat it pretty soon. It’s great fresh!

This post is dedicated to my Dad who was the most prolific and The Best Jam Maker and Pickler I have ever known. Sorry about the gelatine, Dad! ❤

As my sister said about my Dad: “if you sit still too long you’ll end up pickled in a jar”. Fact!

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