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Canning has given me more than the ability to become more sustainable but to find friends that not only give me inspiration but have very different lives than I do. I have started trying to invite people over to the house when I'm not teaching to do one on one canning just to be creative and try new recipes. 

Corena is one of these special friends, that had I been in another situation, we may have never even approached each other to talk. She's creative and smart, but what I love about her is her business savvy and that I really feed off of her energy. I have now quite a few of these people in my life and all because of teaching canning. I hope that my readers find those people in their lives that they can share this craft with beyond their families.

Corena had been to a couple of my classes and we worked in some time at the last class to make a blackberry jam with her hand picked blackberries while the pressure canner was busy processing. We started with a blackberry basil lemoncello jam which turned out really well but
Corena came over for a one on one to perfect the idea. We started with the basic of using basil, blackberries, and lemoncello, keep the sugar as low as possible using a low sugar/no sugar pectin. We also decided from a tip from one of my other facebook friends a while ago to add the lemoncello at the end to the tops of each of the jams. During the water bath processing the spirit would be incorporated rather than cooking it completely out. This recipe turned out fantastic. I opened a 4oz of the jars we did and though the basil was a great addition to the blackberries, the lemon from the zest, the juice, and the lemoncello were amazing.

The lemoncello I purchased was the "airplane" size since it is just enough to test or do a recipe but not so much that I know have to watch it evaporate over the next year.  I also picked up a small bottle of Chamord. Chambord is a raspberry liquer so that we could play with the flavors of a Raspberry Basil Chamord jam. That was also spectacular.

Enjoy an afternoon by inviting a friend that has never canned or one that loves the craft and make a jam together.  It's a jar that with every bite will remind you of that day! Thanks Corena for sharing your afternoon being an inspiration to me!

By the way the "Expensive" in this title is because Corena bought the blackberries for this batch at Whole Foods...LOL


Expensive Blackberry Basil Lemoncello

4 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen but thawed)
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1 cup sugar
Zest of 1 medium lemon
Juice from 1/2 lemon
3 tblsp Ball Flex batch no sugar/low sugar pectin (see note below)
1/2 tsp lemoncello (added to the jar)

Preparation : Prepare 4 half pints (we also got a 4oz as well), lids, and rings. Sterilize the jars and keep them in the hot water till its time for processing. Make sure to fill your water bath canner and get the water to a simmer.
Cooking: In a medium stainless steel pot add the blackberries, sugar, and zest and heat up over medium heat, stirring often. Once the blackberries break down a little and the recipe is at a simmer, about 15 minutes, add the basil and lemon juice stirring now constantly. Bring up the heat under the jam to a boil and then add the pectin, stirring it in. Bring back to a boil and set the timer for one minute.  Remove from heat after the minute is up and ladle into jars

Filling the jars:  On a dishtowel place your hot jars and using your funnel in each jar using a ladle then fill the jars leaving ½” headspace.  Add ½ t. of lemoncello to each of the jars.  Remove air bubbles and refill with the jam to ¼” headspace. Taking a clean papertowel wet it with warm water and wipe the rims of the jars removing any food particles that would interfere with a good seal. Using your magic wand extract the lids from the hot water and place them on the now cleaned rims. Add your rings to the tops of each of the jars and turn to seal just "finger tight". 

Processing: Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn't measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 10 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.

Sealing: Some time in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.

Note: You can also use 1 box of Sure-Jell low sugar pectin or Pomona pectin.


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