Wednesday, March 14, 2012

#8 Blackberry Lemon Jam

Hey y'all Jamsters!

Hoping everyone is having a fabulous week! I decided to experiment this week with blackberries, unfortunately I can't go outback and pick my own so I decided to can what was on sale at my supermarket.  I would love to learn a bit about foraging in this area, I think I found fiddle-heads on a nearby trail but am too scared to test them (remember the way Into the Wild ended?)

I got this book for Christmas from my Mom and I love it!  It is so thorough and really goes in depth about the processes.  Are there any canning books that y'all enjoy?

Alls you need:
8 cups of blackberries
3 Granny smith apples (cored) or pectin
2 cups of sugar
2 lemons (3 Tablespoons of juice and zest)

First wash your blackberries thoroughly and inspect.  Now dump all of the berries and sugar into a mofo pot and make em sweat!  Bring the pot to a medium simmer and let all the juices run out of the berries until there was enough juice to cover them.  Make sure you stir often, don't want any burnt berries!

Now get out a strainer and place over a large bowl. Dump the whole pot into the strainer and mash with a spoon.  Take the liquid from the bowl and put back into pot along with apple cores. Bring this to a simmer for about 20 minutes.  Now remove the cores and dump whatever is left in the strainer and bowl back into the pot along with the lemon juice and zest.

Bring everything to a boil (the juice/berry pulp/lemon juice/zest) and begin testing for doneness using the cold spoon method.  I wasn't getting a good gel so I added additional sugar free pectin and that helped thicken it up. Has anyone ever noticed a sheen on the jam after adding pectin?  I wonder why this happens.

Ladle while piping hot into sterilized jars making sure to keep rims clean and air bubbles out.  Process for 5 minutes (or according to your elevation) in a boiling water bath.

The purpose of the apple cores is to add natural pectin instead of the powdered stuff.  Unfortunately I think I should have added the apple skin too because my jam wouldn't set so I ended up using the powered stuff anyways, No big deal. If you wanted to forgo the whole adding apple cores/peeling and just adding pectin I think that would be fine.

I was actually able to finish before it got dark out, thank you time change!  I thought this jam would photograph beautifully in natural sunlight and it did.  Oh and I had it on a pb sandwich and it was deeeelish!

One last thing, your kitchen WILL look like a murder scene when you are done There was globs of red all over the counters on on the towels, just so you know.