I feel like all I need to do here is post the photo of the jam. Say it with me: blackberry port jam. Mmm.
I went to the market today, and instead of buying my usual three-pack of berries (raspberry/strawberry/blackberry), I decided that I would just buy a single pack of raspberries. But when I ordered them, my regular berry man shook his head.
Him: “No. But ya want some blackberries? Three for $5.”
Me: “Are they good?”
Him: “Yeah, they’re good. But they won’t last long.”
Me: “So I need to eat three pints of blackberries before tomorrow?”
Him: “Probably, yeah.”
So I came home and googled blackberry jam recipes. Most had tons of sugar, but this blackberry port jam recipe from Pomona Pectin needed just half a cup.* Not bad.
An hour later, I had two jars of jam. I put one in the pantry and the other was cracked open a few hours later for testing. It’s good stuff. I’m looking forward to trying it out on my post-workout PB&J sandwich. I may even consider switching to toast for this week’s breakfast. Just because.
I know that some people don’t like the seeds. I personally like the added texture. In fact, my go-to jam of the year has been raspberry with seeds, so something tangy with lots of seeds is actually right up my alley.
The process reminded me of being a kid, standing in Betty’s kitchen, making jelly from the Concord grapes that grew on the vine in her backyard. I think we only did it once or twice before it was decided that it was too much of a nuisance. That was fine with me. I was perfectly ok with eating the grapes by the bunch, harvested directly from the vine. But there’s something to be said for preserving that flavor to enjoy in the off season, if you can wait that long.
I’m looking forward to cracking open jar #2 in February.
And The Assistant? He gives it a thumbs-up rating. “It’s pretty good,” he said. “But really, I’d still rather have strawberry or apricot.” Yes, apricot. He’s an odd duck.
What’s your favorite jam or jelly? Have you ever made your own?
* When all was said and done, I added probably another tablespoon to the finished product, just to cut a bit of the tang.