Are blackberries still available in New York? I don’t know, but it seems doubtful, especially after Irene. What I do know is that nearly a week without internet access didn’t do much for the backlog of preserving recipes I’ve been meaning to share with you. I either need to post every day for a couple of weeks or save some of them for next year. Given the backlog of fruit & vegetables cluttering up my kitchen counters, waiting for their own spot in the preserving spotlight, I think we can guess which it will be.
This particular preserve? Blackberries + brown sugar + bourbon + maple syrup. I haven’t cracked a jar yet, but really, how can you go wrong? Easy-peasy, boozy berry preserves. For our friends in the North who may still have blackberries…
Adapted from Blackberries in Framboise in The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, J. Kingry and L. Devine
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar (organic turbinado)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed (dark muscovado)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp ground or grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup bourbon
- 2 to 3 lbs blackberries, rinsed and picked over (see Options)
- Prepare canner, jars and lids.
- Combine all ingredients but the bourbon and blackberries. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil for 5 – 10 minutes, until syrup thickens slightly.
- Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, strain out cinnamon stick and grated nutmeg. Add bourbon and bring syrup back to a boil. Add blackberries and simmer for 5 minutes to allow berries to shrink and soften (this helps to prevent fruit float).
- Using a slotted spoon, pack berries into hot jars, tamping on the jar a few times to settle berries to a generous 1/2-inch headspace. Ladle hot syrup over berries to 1/2-inch headspace; remove any air bubbles, wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
1 and 1/2 lbs of blackberries yielded 4 half-pint jars.
- I had 1 and 1/2 lbs of blackberries on hand, which was just about the 6 cups that the Ball recipe called for. However I had nearly 3 cups of syrup leftover. I suspect with my amount of blueberries I could have made half the amount of syrup; or could have doubled the amount of fruit. Your mileage may vary; but plan on some extra jars and have extra berries on hand just in case.
- Brandy, whiskey, rye: it strikes me that any brown liquor will work just fine.
Canned, in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year. Allow to sit on the shelf for at least 1 month in order to flavors to develop.