16 August 2009

Sour Bramble Jam

For all you fans of Crafting With Cats here's a recipe to make up for all the ones you've been missing since I abandoned that blog. This recipe makes 6 to 8 cups of jam.

Mr. Fuzzy likes his blackberries sour so I came up with this recipe when he said my "very low sugar" recipe was way too sweet. (As in a 3:16 ratio instead of 1:1!) You'll need a large surface area pan to make this in less than 12 hours so I use our largest roasting pan set over two burners. Even then, plan to spend the day at home... it's worth it! Here's a good video tutorial series if you've never done any caning before. If you're impatient at least watch parts three and four.

1 gallon blackberries
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice*

a little water

1 1/2 cups 100% white grape juice concentrate

1 package "No Sugar Needed" dry pectin

Special Equipment
A pan with a large surface area
gallon stock pot
large pot of water for water canning
sauce pan
canning jars & lids (lids must be new!)
canning tools (funnel, lifter..)

Santa Cruz Organic, not the stuff in the plastic lemon!

You can use fresh or frozen berries for this recipe. Picking your own and not being too particular about needing the most perfect, deep black, fat berries is a real help to getting this to be puckerlicious.

Measure berries, lemon juice and a little water ("more or less" is OK) and put into your stock pot. Heat until the berries produce juice... it won't take long. Now transfer to the big open pan. Turn up the heat to medium-high and stir occasionally to keep fruit from sticking. Add the grape juice concentrate, turn the heat down to a slow boil / simmer. Cook until the berries reduce by at least half but preferably until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Stir regularly while this is cooking down and don't be afraid to use the spoon to scrape up what's sticking to the bottom.... it'll incorporate nicely! If you have to walk away for a few minutes just turn the stove off and let the steam rise then turn the heat back on when you can watch the pot (while folding laundry or teaching your dog to roll over.)

Once the berries have cooked down nearly as far as you can stand to watch the pot... a few hours... start the water canner. You've got a couple gallons in there so it takes a while. I like to wash & put my jars in there as they need to be hot and should boil for 10-15 minutes to sterilize before filling anyway. Make sure the water comes 1" over the tops. Put the lids into the small sauce pan and add hot water. Simmer a couple minutes just before you're ready to fill the cans. This softens the sealing stuff and prevents shock.

Ok, now you're all set with your jars. You might have decided that this took WAY longer than expected and turned the heat off under your fruit goop for 15 minutes, which is perfectly OK. Bring it back up to a boil that doesn't fully abate when stirred and sprinkle the pectin over the entire surface of the fruit. Mix in quickly and let it come back to a boil for at least 1 minute. Turn off the heat.

Lift jars, fill to about 1/4" of the rim, cap them, and process 10 minutes (plus your altitude adjustment) in boiling water. Count the processing time from when the bubbles are steady, large, and burst at the surface. Carefully lift out and don't move those suckers until they are stone cold. Down here, the seal 'pops' closed in less than a minute but my recollection in Santa Fe was it could take hours.


Anonymous said...

That looks really good!

PamperingBeki said...

That looks delicious!

Alex (spoonful of sugar free) said...

Wow this jam looks great! I am a huge fan of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches...but it is hard to find jelly without added sugar! This might do the trick :)