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    Old 06-01-2019, 06:26 AM
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    Default Intense Blackberry Jam Ideas

    We have a large patch of Ouachita Blackberries that are now flowering. It will be jam making time soon. I'd love some ideas on how you make your jam that has a great texture, but tastes very intense of blackberries. I usually just follow the recipe on my pectin box and the jam is good, but not outstanding. Anyone have some tips, or tricks?

    Thanks!

    ~ C
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    Old 06-01-2019, 07:00 AM
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    One idea that I had was to use a pinch of citric acid in the mix to brighten up the flavor. It's not totally, "natural," but citric acid is a naturally occurring substance in fruits, so I'm OK with it. I suppose I could also add extra lemon juice. I don't know how it would change the chemistry that makes it all gel though.

    ~ C
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    Old 06-01-2019, 10:46 AM
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    Slightly under ripe fruit is better of jam, I think blackberries (here anyway) are not high in natural pectin, so I use 'jam sugar' when making it, and a little lemon juice, no water. I add the sugar to the blackberries and leave to 'mix' overnight, and make the jam the following day. There will be plenty of juice/liquid in the pan. Heat slowly until the sugar dissolves, the bring to a boil until setting point is reached.

    I also like to soak blackberries in whiskey, leave to soak for about 8 weeks, drain and store to mature. Delicious.
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    Old 06-02-2019, 05:12 AM
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    Ok Charley26 you have me intrigued. Explain to me better how to soak the blackberries in whiskey? It will be raspberry season here soon and I will have a lot of them. Do I just add them to whiskey and soak them? Does this need to be refrigerated? Do I drain it after the 8 weeks and drink it or what?

    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 06-02-2019 at 07:19 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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    Old 06-02-2019, 10:51 AM
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    Originally Posted by charley26
    Slightly under ripe fruit is better of jam, I think blackberries (here anyway) are not high in natural pectin, so I use 'jam sugar' when making it, and a little lemon juice, no water. I add the sugar to the blackberries and leave to 'mix' overnight, and make the jam the following day. There will be plenty of juice/liquid in the pan. Heat slowly until the sugar dissolves, the bring to a boil until setting point is reached.
    I haven't make blackberry jam but have made strawberry, raspberry, black currant, grape, mixed fruit, and apricot jams - all without purchased pectin. I only add lemon juice and sugar to the fruit. It's a little more unpredictable in cooking time than when using purchased pectin but I greatly prefer the taste. I did do the overnight method with apricots and it was delicious. I will try the overnight with other fruits this year and see how it goes.

    The blackberries in whiskey sounds interesting - not sure which I would like more the flavored whiskey or the soaked fruit!
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    Old 06-02-2019, 11:05 AM
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    Originally Posted by my-ty
    I haven't make blackberry jam but have made strawberry, raspberry, black currant, grape, mixed fruit, and apricot jams - all without purchased pectin. I only add lemon juice and sugar to the fruit. It's a little more unpredictable in cooking time than when using purchased pectin but I greatly prefer the taste. I did do the overnight method with apricots and it was delicious. I will try the overnight with other fruits this year and see how it goes.

    The blackberries in whiskey sounds interesting - not sure which I would like more the flavored whiskey or the soaked fruit!
    Interesting...I didn't think that there was that much pectin in berries. I use Pomona's Universal Pectin. It comes with a packet of monocalcium phosphate powder, (plain ole calcium,) that really helps the pectin work, especially if you don't have calcium naturally in your water, (and we don't.) My jam always sets now that I've switched over to Pomona's. I found it at our co-op, but I think that they might sell it online as well.

    The "drunken blackberries" do sound good! I don't particularly love whiskey, but perhaps one could use another spirit instead???

    ~ C
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    Old 06-02-2019, 11:55 AM
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    Originally Posted by meanmom
    Ok Charley26 you have me intrigued. Explain to me better how to soak the blackberries in whiskey? It will be raspberry season here soon and I will have a lot of them. Do I just add them to whiskey and soak them? Does this need to be refrigerated? Do I drain it after the 8 weeks and drink it or what?
    Blackberry Whiskey and others to try.

    I use a 2 litre kilner type jar
    At least 2/3 full with blackberries (weigh if you wish!), but no less than that. Check that they are clean, no creepy crawlies etc. Ripe berries
    250 g of sugar
    Fill to the top with whiskey
    Give everything a stir - I use a chop stick - every day or so until the sugar has dissolved, and keep in a cupboard for 2 - 3 months. If left longer, no harm will come to it. I keep mine in a dark cupboard.
    Strain well, double muslin, jelly bag, or coffee filter. Coffee filter takes much longer, but no sediment in your bottle of delicious liqueur. Leave to mature for several months. I use used screw top wine bottles, or the whiskey bottles, cleaned and sterilised. Don't forget to label the Kilner jars with the date. Delicious, and lovely colour too. None of these need to be stored in the fridge.

    I also make Sloe Gin, Sloe Vodka. Raspberries are good too with vodka, gorgeous pink colour. Same sort of recipe quantities. Wonderful put into little pretty bottles (about 250 mms) for presents, and just lovely around Christmas etc. If I see any pretty small bottles around i always save them for my liqueur use.

    I have made Rhubarb vodka too, but the really pink, forced rhubarb is needed, again a lovely pale pink colour.
    Plums and damsons work too, all good if left over from other uses. I enjoy trying different things.
    I sometimes add other ingredients, for example, a vanilla pod, a star anise, a couple of cloves, cleaned finely peeled lemon zest - not all of these to one mix - so the vanilla pod to the whiskey for example.

    A really delicious one to make is cassis. Blackcurrants, small stalks included, along with a clean leaf or two. Equal quantities of vodka and blackcurrants soaked for 3 - 4 months, in a Kilner jar. The blackcurrants can be squashed up too. After straining, add a sugar syrup, made from 350g of sugar a about 70ml of water, make sure the sugar has dissolved. Add the sugar syrup when it is cold ; you can put back in the jar for a week or so, or bottle, and label. This has the most delicious aroma of blackcurrants. I have to beg (almost) for the blackcurrants! A little placed in glass before topping up with Prosecco is the business for celebrations, a home made Kir cocktail. A bottle will last for a while, and does not go off.

    Jam.
    When I make jam, I use jam sugar, it has added pectin in it, and always work. Most berries have low pectin, so extra is needed, lemon juice or apples sometimes. But I just prefer the single fruit jam, so I use jam sugar, it is a little more expensive, but it works for me.

    Enjoy
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    Old 06-02-2019, 12:09 PM
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    I realise that my measurements are not American - apologies.

    my-ty, the blackberries are very anaemic and a bit squashed when they are removed from the Whiskey!! i have not tried tasting them though. The Whiskey tastes much nicer - to me - I don't like regular Whiskey. Any of these liqueurs can be just served over ice, topped up with Prosecco, or fizzy lemonade, or whatever you wish. I find the price of liqueurs to be very expensive, here anyway, so I like experimenting.
    I also realise just now, that I am spelling Whiskey in the Irish way; Whiskey from Scotland is spelled Whisky!!
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    Old 06-02-2019, 05:27 PM
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    Thanks. I can't wait for my raspberries. I might try it with my strawberries. YUM!
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    Old 06-03-2019, 02:25 AM
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    When I make blackberry jam I always put it through a mouli to remove the seeds. I don't know if that improves the flavour, but making a lot of jam for our allotment shop I've found our customers prefer it seedless.

    charley26, I have always brought the fruit to the boil to dissolve the sugar and then left it overnight as I found it really improved the set. This was confirmed recently on The Kitchen Cabinet, Radio4 (if my memory serves me well), although I can't remember the science; something to do with the pectin I guess.
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