Tuesday, August 17, 2010
We are blessed and cursed with blackberries here in the Pacific Northwest. They are non-native, and they grow EVERYWHERE - taking over fencelines and alleyways in both town and country. But they are delicious, and though I curse the ones climbing over the neighbor's fence to root on our side each year and cut them back regularly, I also relish the short season when they are ripe and reachable.
What's a girl to do but make jam and pie?
This weekend, it was jam.
I used a standard recipe from the trusty old "Ball Blue Book" for berry jam, but in half. I've used it many times before and will again. It's trusty for a reason.
Warning: To make this recipe, you'll need canning equipment. That means a big pot with a rack in it, and jars with two-piece lids - small ones for jam.
This is the amount in the recipe, but it is scaleable:
Take 9 cups of crushed ripe blackberries (it'll be nearly double uncrushed).
Put in a big saucepan and mix in 6 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil while stirring. Then, cook to the "gelling point". The Blue Book goes into this but basically, cook it for a while (30 min or so) until it gets thick and when you stick a spoon in it the jam drips slowly off of it and is sticky.
In the meantime, prepare your canning stuff. Wash your jars and lids. Heat up your big pot of water to near boiling and keep your jars and lids in it until ready to use.
Ladle the jam into the hot jars, put the lids on, and put the jars into your rack and boiling water bath (turn it up as soon as you take the jars and lids out and it's ready). Boil for 15 minutes and remove to the counter top. Your lids should pop down pretty soon and you've got some nice jam to hold you over till next year!