Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Spiced Blackberry Jam

I bought three quarts of local blackberries in their peak in August, and stashed them in the freezer for jam-making when the weather cooled down.  Now, I need to clear whatever I can out of the freezer before our beef comes in November.  I looked at recipes until I got what I wanted:  partially seeded, thick jam with a little hit of cinnamon and nutmeg.

I used a combination of several of Marisa's recipes. To make the jam set, I used a lemon, zest and juice, as well as 3 Tbsp. of powdered pectin.  Still, my jam did not set very much. I guess I could have boiled it longer? Or added more pectin? Jam-making is still intimidating for me.

I'm moving on and not messing with it, however (Marisa has very helpful ideas for jam that did not set).  The flavor is great.


e said...

Sounds delicious!

As an experienced jam maker, I would say that it probably needed to cook longer. Also, don't discount the weather. If it was cloudy, rainy or damp, that can affect how long it takes to reach a good set. But, I agree with Marisa (love her!), a runny jam is just as good.

Have you tried Pomona's pectin? It's a completely different method of gelling and takes some adaptation from the traditional. But, it often sets quite well and you can use considerably less sugar. Or alternative sweetners.

Hazel said...

Runny is definitely better than too set and rubbery :-)

I usually make blackberry and apple to stretch the blackberries (also works with raspberries) and to help it set. I also make pectin out of windfalls and cores/peelings which seems to work well.

Becky said...

I rarely use pectin, so I'm not the one to ask about that. I have found though, that jams will set up over time. Except all that flower jam I made last spring - that stuff refuses to set up so I have a whole case of floral simple syrup.

Margo said...

e, I have used Pomona's with mixed feelings. I like the idea of less sugar, but not the flavor :/

Hazel, what a clever way to make jam from expensive berries! I will try that next year.

Marisa said...

Freezing the berries might also have something to do with the runny set. Freezing break down the fiber of the fruit and leaves less natural pectin available for set creation. When making jam from frozen berries, I like to throw in a handful of fresh cranberries. They bring pectin and brightness and can really firm up the set.

(Perhaps we can make jam together someday! I'll teach you all my tricks!)

jenny_o said...

I bet your house smelled wonderful!

Margo said...

Marisa! Thanks for the extra information. You are the queen of jam knowledge!