I recently went blackberry picking with friends. This year did not seem to be a good one for the berries. They were small and unusually tart.
I was disappointed by the slim pickings, but I still had fun. I think my friend Jamie had a good time, too.
While I did not bring home a bonanza of sweet berries, I knew they would be great in jam and baked goods. Last summer I brought in a big haul of blackberries. My husband and I enjoyed them many ways, including in two luscious cocktails. When making the drinks again this year, I realized how much I enjoy the flavors of blackberry and gin together. And then I thought, why not add some gin to my batch of blackberry jam?
“Rolling down the street, smokin’ indo, sippin’ on gin and juice
Laid back with my mind on my money and my money on my mind.”
Let me tell you – this jam is smashing. Note that I didn’t say it made me smashed. It was just wonderful on a slice of whole wheat toast…tart blackberries with a hint of herbal, bitter juniper balanced with the sweet of the sugar. And, I didn’t even get tipsy at the breakfast table.
PS – Humming Snoop Dogg may help as you prepare your jam, but it is not necessary for its success.
Blackberry & Gin Jam
Makes about four 1/2 pint jars
4 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp gin (I used Tanqueray)
Add blackberries and sugar to a large non reactive pot. Turn the burner on medium heat. Lightly mash the berries as they cook, I used a potato masher, but a wooden spoon will work. Stir occasionally.
Turn up to medium high and stir. Continue stirring as the mixture bubbles and thickens. Add gin and lime juice. Take care that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. After about 25 minutes of bubbling and cooking, your jam is likely ready. If you don’t trust your eyes, you can use the freezer test as I describe in my strawberry jam recipe or you can use a candy thermometer to measure when the mixture reaches about 225 degrees F.
Once you are happy with the consistency, turn off the heat and ladle the jam into sterilized jars and seal. Process in a water-bath for about 10 minutes. Listen for the pings as the jars cool. Now, enjoy.