Blackberry season has come to a bitter end here in Texas...literally! The few berries left on the brambles are bitter from sitting in the scorching Texas heat. The season was lucrative and I am passing on the wealth with this and many more blackberry recipes to come.
I wanted to save the fruits of my berry picking labor for next season and will share canning instructions as well. If you want to maintain the "raw" integrity of this jam DO NOT follow the canning instructions and simply store in the fridge for up to one week.
Being I am a canning novice, to ensure proper procedure I used the info on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website as a reference.
Check it out: http://nchfp.uga.edu/
or direct link for making jam and jelly here:
Stevie, YOU inspire me. Thanks for being you. This one is for you pollito azul!
Step 1: Supplies
To make this Instructable which yields 2 jars of jam, you will need the following:
2 C blackberries
1/4 C chia seeds*
1/4 C agave nectar*
1/4 C filtered water
2 TB lemon juice concentrate
Large pot, mixing spoon & bowl
Measuring cup/spoon, tongs and ladle, potato masher, veggie steamer (optional)
Although this is a vegan recipe intended to use agave nectar, you can substitute any sweetener of your choice. In one of my trials, I used local raw honey as pictured.
Also, chia was used to thicken and stabilize the jam. I chose chia seeds over the typical pectin for its supreme nutritional value. According to http://www.salbasmart.com/salba-nutrition/
Gram for Gram chia seeds provides . . .
325% more fiber than oatmeal
800% more Omega-3 (ALA) than salmon (EPA/DHA)
30% more antioxidants than blueberries (based on ORAC values)
1500% more magnesium than broccoli
200% more potassium than bananas
Step 2: Sanitize Jars and Lids
1. Fill a large pot with water. (Optional: Insert veggie steamer.)
2. Place jars in the water before coming to a boil so they can heat up along with the water to avoid breaking or cracking.
3. Bring water to a rolling boil and allow 10 mins for sanitizing.
(If you are at an altitude of 1000 feet or more, add 1 minute of sterilizing time for each 1000 feet of altitude.)
4. Carefully remove with tongs and place inverted onto cooling rack.
5. Add rings and lids and sanitize 5-10 mins. Remove with tongs and place on cooling rack. Turn burner off.
Step 3: Measure, Mash & Mix It Up
1. Measure 2 C of washed and dried blackberries. Add to bowl.
2. Measure 1/4 C or 4 TB chia seeds. Add 1/4 C water. Mix and allow to thicken.
3. Meanwhile mash blackberries.
4. Measure remaining ingredients and combine all.
Step 4: Fill & Seal
1. Using a ladle, gradually fill the jars. Be extremely careful to not soil the rims as it can impede the ring from sealing properly.
2. Alternate jars to ensure equal amounts. There should be 1/4 inch space from rim.
3. With clean, dry hands place lids on jars and lightly screw ring on.
NOTE: PROCEEDING FROM HERE FORWARD WILL NULLIFY THE RAW INTEGRITY OF THE JAM
4. Add jars upright to pot of water. Add more if necessary to cover tops by at least 1/2 inch.
5. Bring to rolling boil. Depending on your elevation the processing time will vary.
Follow Table 1 found at this link for time reference:
6. Using tongs, remove jars after sufficient processing time and place upright on cooling rack.
Step 5: Let It Chill
Allow the jars to cool a total 12-24 hours before handling. An occasional "pop" can/will be heard which means the jars have properly sealed.
If the vacuum seal is not drawn or "indented" and there is a clicking sound when depressing the seal this denotes the jars did not properly seal. No problemo! All the more reason to skip the shelf and eat it all up!