Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blackberry, Blueberry, Port Wine Jam - Sing it!

The path to my grandmother's house was through the woods. And, no matter how many times I was told as a kid to go straight through without stopping - I got distracted. A 2 minute walk turned into a 20 minute journey. Can you blame me? The path was lined with walls of wild blackberries.
This month's TigressCanJam ingredient was any product considered an "-erry". That meant strawberries, loganberries, blueberries, cranberries...get it? "-erries". Fun, right? It was almost TOO open for my easily distracted and multi-loving personality. I let the Farmer's Market decide for me, and when the "childhood memory" met with a great price, these black beauties won. But then, I got home to find my little Blueberry bush had turned into a it's own dark jeweled beauty and I couldn't resist having some blueberries join the jamming.
The Port seemed a natural mix and a way to sophisticate the flavors; I was hoping to actually create a jam for breakfast bread, but also a nice marinade or sauce addition to main entrees. I tried it on a nice lean Pork Tenderloin roast with mushrooms. It was the perfect addition to bring a little tang to the umami that was already there.
The recipe is a little from childhood memory (after a while, even Grandma recognized a good berry picker when she saw one), and a little experimentation. It's very simple and I've had great response to this jam as a biscuit topper and as an enhancer. Jam on!

RECIPE: Blackberry, Blueberry, Port Wine Jam

24 oz. Fresh Blackberries (crushed)

8 oz. Fresh Blueberries

1lb 6 oz. organic sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup Port (Warriors is a good balance)

Add the crushed black berries, the blueberries and the sugar to a large, deep pot. Heat on low, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the lemon juice and bring the heat up to Med/High, stirring to blend.
Cook until the berry mixture reaches 220F. Carefully add the Port, stir and reheat to 222F (or check the jam set on a pre-chilled plate in the freezer. If a dollop of jam doesn't run on the pre-chilled plate, the set is good.)

Remove from the heat and let rest for 3-5 minutes so the berries can mix with the syrup. If any obvious hard blackberry cores rise to the top, remove them for a smoother jam.

Pour hot jam into sterilized jars, seal properly and finish with a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
If you don't want to can this jam, just follow the recipe and pour into refrigerator containers, let cool and keep air tight in refrigerator (for 2 weeks).

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