Earlier this summer my mom brought my some blackberries from her yard and they were delicious, but after traveling all the way from North Carolina in the back of her car they were perfectly ripe when we got them and quickly started to down the soft, sticky slope of over ripeness. So, of course, I made jam. I could have made ordinary blackberry jam but we still had some of that in the pantry from last year so I decided to try something new– Blackberry Bourbon Jam. Its pretty good. A little weird. Very bourbony. If you don’t happen to live in the middle of Bourbon Country like I do you might want to use less bourbon for a more subtle flavor.
Blackberry Bourbon Jam
- 6 cups blackberries
- 5 cups sugar
- 3 TBS lemon syrup
- 1/2TBS vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup bourbon (or less)
Combine sugar and blackberries in a pot and cook until the blackberries have fallen apart. Use a food mill to remove the skins and seeds. If you are feeling lazy you *can* skip this step but I don’t like the texture of blackberry jam with the seeds left in. They get stuck between my teeth.
Once you have a smooth, lovely syrup add your remaining ingredients.
Pour hot jam into jars and water bath process for at least 10minutes.
Note: I didn’t use pectin in this recipe and it turned out great. This may be because I used lemon syrup that happened to contain some of the lemon rind in addition to the juice (lemon rind naturally contains pectin), because I cooked it for a long time (it took me a while to decide on my ingredients so I just let it simmer while I was experimenting with adding a little of this, a little of that…) or because I added so much sugar. I’m not sure if it would set as well without pectin if I tried it again. I do usually add pectin to my jams to ensure a nice firm, spreadable texture without having to cook for a long time or add excessive sugar (though let’s be honest it, I add a ton of sugar anyway. I like my jams to be sweet!) According to the handy dandy Ball Pectin Calculator you would want to use about 7.5 TBS of “Real Fruit Classic Pectin” for this recipe which I believe is equal to almost 4 packets of liquid pectin. That seems like a ton of pectin to me, though, so take that information with a grain of salt.
Remember that I am not an expert at food preservation, so while you are welcome to be inspired by my experiments please do you research on safe food preservation techniques first!