Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Black & Blue Berry Jam

It's official.  I am obsessed with jam.

I can't go to a farmer's market without seeing all of the gorgeous local fruit and thinking of what I can do with it.  

I go with a list, a plan of what I'm going to buy and what I'm going to make from jams to sauces to preserves to pickles.  And other fruits just jump out at me.  Filling my cart and giving me even more to process on my already too short weekend. 

But allowing myself the room to freestyle, even if it means I'm a bit exhausted come Sunday night, can end up in a result as delicious as what I'm sharing with you today.  

Last weekend was supposed to be all about peaches.  The season had just started and I wanted to get my jams and salsas made in one weekend so that I could focus on canning and freezing slices once the full freestone were available in a few weeks.  But as I was wandering around the market I was taken in by the gorgeous blackberries.  So plump and beautifully sweet and tart.  I had to have some.  So I picked up 4 small, but overflowing baskets unsure of exactly what I was going to do with them. 

I got home and unloaded my bounty of fruit and while I should have tackled the 4 huge baskets of peaches, it was the blackberries that called to me.  They weighed about three pound and I found a pound of blueberries in the fridge, another impulse buy.  At this point, I figured why not combine my impulse buys into a Black & Blue Berry jam?

Sounds tasty right?

Boy is it ever.  It may be my favorite jam that I've made this summer to date. It's a super simple preparation without any fancy herbs or spices and yet it feels like it perfectly captures the summer in a jar for me.   The sweet & tart blackberries with the freshness of the lemon and then that sweet punch of blueberry is a simple yet delicious flavor, certain to be served with fresh homemade bread or biscuits.  

print recipe

Black & Blue Jam
This jam is usper easy to make and employs a method I learned from Liana Krisoff's book, Canning for a New Generation.
  • 3 lbs blackberries
  • 1 lb blueberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large green apples - quartered & cored, with trimming reserved in a cheesecloth pouch
  • 1 large lemon - zested & juiced
1. Prepare boiling water canner & jars for canning. Place the jars in the canner, that is heating over high heat. Place the flat lids in a heatproof bowl.2. Gently rinse the berries. Place the berries & sugar in an 8 quart heavy-bottomed pot and stir gently to combine.3. Cook over medium heat until there is enough juice to cover the berries. Transfer the berries into a colander placed over a large bowl. Stir gently to drain the juice. 4. Return the juice to the pot, along with the apple pieces & pouch of trimmings. Cook over medium high heat until boil and boil, stirring frequently for 15 minutes, until the syrup has reduced & thicken slightly.5. Add the berried back to the pot, along with the lemon juice & zest. Stir to combine. Cook over medium high heat for another 10 minutes. 6. Remove the jars from the canner and place on a folded towel. Ladle hot water from the canner over the flat lids. Remove the apple pieces and trimmings and piece from the pot. 7. Carefully fill the jars to 1/4" from the top. Wipe the rims with a damp papercloth. Top with flat lids and turn screw rings until finger tight. Place into the canner and boil for 5 minutes. Remove to the folded towel and let rest, undisturbed for 12 hours. Any lids that don't pop should be place immediately into the fridge and consumed within a month.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 5 1/2 pint jars

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