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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jam Gone Wrong Goes Very, Very Right

So, after last week's love affair with my first experience making apricot jam, I decided to try my hand at making fresh blackberry jam. 


Sure, it looks pretty. But this is more like blackberry juice.The jam didn't congeal, so it turned out to be a very viscous juice-like concoction. My mom mentioned that there may not be any natural pectin in blackberries. Hm...any pectin experts out there want to chime in? I'm thinking I either didn't add enough sugar or I didn't leave it on the heat long enough or some combination of the two. But spreading this on toast is out of the question. It would make it too soggy. 

Luckily I found a few alternative uses:

Poured on top of oatmeal it makes an excellent alternative to brown sugar. 


And mixed with vodka - it almost seems like a healthy way to celebrate happy hour. I left one berry at the bottom for looks. 




And a mint leaf from the garden for an added touch. 


What fruit has worked well for you? I wish cherries were in season. Can one make pear jam? Does that sound disgusting? Does a pear martini sound equally disgusting?


4 comments:

  1. My mom used to make jam a lot when we were growing up, and this would happen from time to time. First of all, if you are not going to add pectin, you need a fruit that either has enough or you can do a combo (apple and quince have a lot). Also, you can do this test: when you think it's done, put a little blob on a plate and put it in the freezer to cool down. In a minute or two (I think, I'll have to check with my mom about the timing) you can see if it seems like jam or if it needs more cooking. It helps to use a recipe from a trusted source to make sure you have the right ratio of sugar and enough pectin to set. Homemade jam, yum! Ooh, one more thing (on this crazy long comment): sometimes I make freezer jam. You use a special pectin specifically designed for no cooking, and then you keep each jar in the freezer until you need it. The defrosted jam lasts a few weeks in the fridge. Yum. homemade jam!
    -Loren

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  2. I adore home made jam...can't wait for summer to make some more!
    Your oatmeal photo is making me SO hungry!!

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  3. Loren, thanks SO much for all of the jam advice! I love the idea of adding apples or quince, both for practical reasons and for flavor! I hadn't even thought of blending fruit! Brilliant! And Laurie Anne, the oatmeal was REALLY good! I've been eating plain oatmeal for a long time now so it was thrilling to have some added sweetness and flavor.

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