Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blackberry Vanilla Basil Jam

a perfect example of a bright idea that i thought was soooo unique and original...
but alas...i found that it's been done and it's been done a lot.  so much so that it's even on the Food Network by Giada De Laurentis.
well i thought it was original and worthy of making...so i changed things up a bit and made it my own.  quite different than recipes i came across.

i must admit, the name sounds a lot more exotic than the actual flavor.  don't get me wrong...this IS a fabulous Blackberry Jam.  most recipes called for 2-3 full cups of basil.  i opted to lower the basil amount quite a bit because 2 full cups of basil brought visions to my mind of enjoying a lovely breakfast with a friend laughing and smiling...with a big chunk of green basil stuck to my tooth...besides i just wanted a hint of basil, not "in your face" basil.

to make this blackberry basil concoction a little more interesting i added zesty lemon slivers from 1 whole lemon, 1 Tbsp of vanilla extract AND my secret ingredient of 1 large roasted clove of garlic.  i was told by one of my taste testers that the jam had many layers of flavor...unlike any blackberry jam they had had.   GOOD that's what i wanted...something delicious,  a little different with layers of unexplainable sweet, yet slightly savory spreadable goodness.


2 1/2 lbs fresh blackberries, washed and dried as much as possible
(weigh berries before washing)
3 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
juice from 1 lemon
zest from lemon.  peel with a potato peeler and cut zest into very thin slivers
1 large clove of roasted garlic
1/4 cup finely minced fresh basil
1 Tbsp dried basil in a tied cheesecloth pouch
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

start your huge pot for the water bath if you are canning.   get everything ready that you might need because when your jam comes to the right temp you don't want to be fumbling around looking for tongs or trying to sterilize your lids in a hurry.
i like to clean my jars and finish sterilizing in a 220 degree oven for 20 minutes...then turn oven off and let jars sit in warm oven until ready to fill.
put a few small plates in the freezer for your plate test...jam 101

add all ingredients into a large stock pot...i use one with tall sides because of the splatter once it gets to a syrupy boil.
bring to a boil over medium high heat while stirring to combine...it will quickly change from sugary thick lumpy to nice macerated raspberry moosh.
cook, stirring and skimming foam from surface...i skimmed towards the end.  take your cheese cloth basil sachet out before the mixture gets to thick.  cook until temperature reaches 220 F degrees on a candy thermometer.  lower heat to lowest and do a plate test.  if mixture sets on plate to your liking then you are ready to fill sterilized jars.  if not...bring back to medium heat and do another plate test.
process in a water bath for safe pantry storage up to a year.
OR...seal tightly and let come to room temperature before refrigerating for use with in a month or two.
NOTE...i am not the food safety police, i am new to canning AND most of my jams have been given or consumed quickly, however, i DO have a few jars set aside for the pantry.  i have inserted some links for sterilizing and water bath caning, but google around and get more info if you need it.  ALSO.....check out this website for some good tips on food safety


Sue/the view from great island said...

This looks so pretty, I love the way you've photographed it. I'm on quite a jam making binge, but I haven't gotten around to blackberry, which is strange because it's my absolute favorite. I have to agree with your decision to lower the basil to berry ratio here, good call!

kitchen memories said...

love it! i will try it for sure!

Kate | FoodBabbles said...

I have wanted to try my hand at making jams and preserves. Thank you for giving me the inspiration! This jam sounds delectable. Beautiful!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi peoples...thanks for the comments..hope you get to makin' some jam this summer...ANY jam...i'm hooked. for this one you might want to add a little more basil if you want to really taste it, but mine turned out quite good as i wrote it...good luck...GOOD jammin'

Catherine Fraga said...

Hi there....definitely going to make this. Wondering, did you mention about how much the recipe makes, and I just missed that? :0

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Cathrine...it was a while back and i always forgot to count the jars before giving them away, BUT i think it made about 5-6 half pint jars. hope i'm right. blackberries have been fabulous lately.

Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious I'm definitely going to try it. Also, I've canned for quite a few years and my grandmother taught me that adding just a slice of real butter to the pot during heavy foam stage will reduce the foam without scooping. :)

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Anonymous...thanks for Grandma's tip. i think i read about that somewhere, i never tried it. if it's good enough for Grandma, it's good enough for me. maybe i'll give it a go.

Becky S. said...

I have leftover berries frozen from last season,so I may use them for this recipe. Two questions: Did you leave your roasted garlic whole and fish it out when the jam was fully cooked, or mash it into a paste and leave it in? And, since you didn't want the basil flavor to be 'in your face', why did you use dried basil in addition to the fresh? I thought dried herbs yielded a more concentrated flavor? Thanks!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Becky...i mashed the garlic into a paste using some of the warm jam mixture and added it in...as for the basil? i was a bit apprehensive to use 4 whole cups(3 1/2 oz) of fresh basil like Giada's recipe called for...but while the jam cooked and i was taste testing i thought it needed a bit more. i thought the dried would be more potent instead of adding a lot more basil leaves. here is the link for the original in case you want to build on that...she also uses frozen berries... http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/sweet-basil-and-blackberry-jam-recipe/index.html
i hope that helps...jules

Becky S. said...

Thanks, Jules. I'll be making jam this weekend.

Lisa Conner said...

How long do you have it boil before taking the jars out.

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Lisa...i'm not a canning expert, but it depends on the size of your jars....10-15 minutes?

Anonymous said...

Do you use pectin?

Anonymous said...

Turned out fabulous! Thanks for the amazing recipe. I used 3-4 garlic cloves. At first, I was nervous about adding garlic to a sweet jelly, but I do love garlic. It really does add depth to the flavor. When you taste it, all of the flavors work together beautifully. To roast the garlic, I used the Pioneer Woman's roasted garlic recipe. You just set the oven to 375, cut off the top 1/3rd of the garlic head, put some olive oil in a pan, sprinkle some salt and pepper on the garlic, wrap the pan in foil, and bake the garlic for 45 minutes!

Also, I used about a cup of basil instead of 1/4th. Overall, I've received tons of complements, and the recipe was extremely simple to make. The jelly set very solidly... like store-bought jelly. I water bath canned the pint-sized jars for 15 minutes, and the jars sealed perfectly. Keep the recipes coming!!! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

What about adding certo or pectin?

Curlie said...

I was wondering about pectin also. But from looking at how long it is boiled I’m assuming you don’t need it, the sugar thickens it I’m assumimg. 😳

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