Lowland salmonberries may be long gone, but up in the mountains they're peaking right now. Last week I gathered a few cups above 3,500 feet—enough to make two half-pint jars of jam.
Though not as flavorful as some other Rubus berries such as thimbleberries, blackcap raspberries, and blackberries, salmonberries are gorgeous to look at. Ripened berries vary in color from bright orange to red to purple, sometimes on the same bush. Why this is so is a mystery to me.
I used this jam recipe, with the addition of pectin. Salmonberry jam takes more effort and patience than thimbleberry jam. Unlike thimbleberries, salmonberries don't want to cook down or thicken with sugar. I ended up using a potato masher to speed along the process, and even then the sugar-berry mix was thin and runny. In the end I added a tablespoon of pectin to get a jammier consistency.
It's not quite the delicacy that thimble jam is, but I'll take it. More arrows in the quiver.