Blackberries are my favorite fruit. Since I was five, I have been making blackberry jam. We just had a long-anticipated rain here in Fayetteville and the blackberry fields will be busting with plump blackberries. This summer, using what I had in the freezer, I have made 72 half-pints of blackberry jam and triple that in making strawberry jam. The recipes for my blackberry and strawberry jams can be found in my book.

My aunt Polly and I would hit the blackberry fields about twice a week in July when I was growing up. Jam cakes were plentiful around her house as well as jars and jars of jam. When she passed away I carried on the tradition of gifting jams to folks who were sick in the community or to just friends because I wanted them to have some. Some people tell me they haven’t bought jams or jellies in the store since they met me.

Homemade jams are great as Christmas gifts. One of my staff members has given each of us a jar of blackberry jam each Christmas for the last 12 years. It is a cherished treat. Many farms have now opened and charge you to pick in their fields. That’s great and can serve as a family outing. I prefer, however, to climb the barbed-wire fence at a friends desolate farm and just pick to my hearts content. I start about 6 am and end about 8 am and make it to work by 9 am twice a week in July. Try these two recipes to taste the payoff in picking fresh blackberries:

Homemade Blackberry Pie Recipe


1 10″ Unbaked Pie Shell
1 quart Blackberries
1 cup Flour
2 cup granulated Sugar
1 cup milk


STEP ONE: Assemble all ingredients and cooking utensils. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
STEP TWO: Fill shell with berries.
STEP THREE: Mix flour, sugar, and milk. Pour mixture over berries.
LAST STEP: Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes until center is set. Serves 6 to 8. Serve with homemade whipped topping.

I have a recipe for blackberry dumplings in my book that is very popular. I am considering this recipe for blackberry corn muffins for the second book. Try it and give me some feedback!

Michael Wright
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