What's that you say? There's been too much jam and not enough booze on this site? Well that's just silly! There was booze in the peach jam, wasn't there? Oh, alright. How about ... more jam with booze! See what I did there? I made me making more jam YOUR idea. I'm sneaky like that.
You see, last weekend I once again braved the great mosquito forest to forage for some berries. Makes me sound kind of like a bear, doesn't it? Moving on. There were no more blueberries left, I guess that season is over around here (boo), but there were still a few raspberries left and great big blackberries just starting to ripen. My friend and I picked a few pints before throwing our hands up in the air and declaring the mosquitoes as the winners of the day yet again. Either that or the "friendly" chicken chased us out. Not sure.
The raspberries went in my tummy, but the blackberries sat in the fridge for a bit. I had thoughts of blackberry peach pies, pretty little tarts and whatnot, but all that requires the use of the oven...and my oven in on summer break. It's too hot. Granted some may argue that making jam isn't exactly "cool" work, but that's neither here nor there, so I made more jam. I was going to make a just-blackberry jam, like this one (aren't those jars adorable?), then I considered one with honey and black pepper, and then I passed a bottle of Pinot Noir as it was trying to sneak out of the house. I grabbed him by the neck, twisted out the cork and poured the contents into a small pot set over a medium flame (minus a glassful for me of course). There'll be no sneaking out of this house!
Do you remember when the movie Chocolat came out many years ago and everyone went crazy over it? The book was being read in every book club. Well, I didn't see the movie or read that book, but I did read every single other book that author has written right then and there. My favorite was Five Quarters of the Orange, but Blackberry Wine came as a very close second and I think that wrapped along with a jar of this jam it would make a lovely gift.
I've also just discovered that I have been neglecting this author and that she's been very busy these past few years churning out book after book. I guess I'll have to catch up :D
Blackberry Wine Jam
Makes about 13 eight ounce jars of jam.
Note: I added a lot of wine, so the flavor is strong. Feel free to cut the amount down to a cup or two (pre-reduction) for a more blackberry then wine sort of a jam. It will still be wonderful.
5 pounds of blackberries, washed and patted dry
5 cups of sugar (a bit more if your berries aren't very sweet)
5 tablespoons of lime juice
1 bottle of a not too pricey Pinot Noir or really any red wine that you like
1 box of no sugar needed pectin
- Thoroughly clean all of your jars before you start. Sterilize setting on the dishwasher is fine, but you can also boil them or wash with hot soapy water and dry in the oven. Whatever you pick, just keep those suckers super clean.
- Unceremoniously dump all the fruit into a large pot, top with sugar, and pour in the lime juice.
- Set a smaller pot on the stove over medium heat, pour yourself a nice full glass of wine (you'll need something to keep you company while the jam is cooking), and dump the rest into the smaller pot. Simmer until it has reduced to about a third of it's original volume and don't forget to occasionally give it a stir.
- Back to the big pot. Light the fire under it on high and then smash, mash, blend and basically abuse the mixture inside until it gets to the consistency you like. I like mine smoother so I brought out my immersion blender again and brrrrrrr'd the whole thing.
- Stir this often and once it reaches a full boil, stand very close to it (it could boil over if you don't pay attention) and stir stir stir for about 10 min. By now your wine should be nice and reduced, so go ahead and add it to the fruit.
- Dump in the pack of pectin and keep stirring to incorporate. Cook for 2 minutes and then take off the heat.
- Ladle the hot jam into jars, seal and then process in a water bath for 10 min. You should hear most of the jars popping on the counter as they cool, but if the next day there's any that didn't seal, just put it into the fridge and enjoy it over a cup of tea, a good book, and a hot english muffin...of whatever variety you choose ;)
And for those of you who actually read this far, this is what happens when you're trying to take pictures in a tiny kitchen and happen to not possess a single ounce of balance or grace and happen to bump your entire set with your deriere and knock the precariously balanced toast with jam...right into the steaming cup of tea. Makes for a tasty, if somewhat soggy, snack for that very same graceless so-and-so.
Disclaimer: I am sick and this post was written while under the influence of cold medicine and after several hours of surfing from one children's book illustrator's blog to another. I'm feeling all sorts of loopy and whimsical.