Saturday, August 18, 2007


Berries, originally uploaded by mysterybridgers.

We picked some blackberries in the park today (enough to fill up 1 and a half quart sized bags). The berries are now cooking on the stove on their way to becoming jam--the smell is fantastic. I'm thinking that a trifle is in these berries' future.

Blackberry Jam:

  • 1 1/2 quart ziploc bags full of freshly picked berries from Golden Gate Park, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
Cook all of this on the stove on medium heat, until it almost reaches the "soft ball" stage.   There are two ways to tell if this is ready.  One way, is the "spoon sheet" stage.  The berry syrup will not completely slide off the back of a metal spoon, but will form a thin sheet that coats the spoon.  The other method is the double drip method.  When you want to test the syrup, dip a spoon into the syrup, and watch how it drips off the spoon.  When it is ready, it will make two drips that slide together and form one drip before they fall off.   Either way, it takes about 20 minutes to a half an hour.

Once this hits this point, pour it into a sieve over a bowl, and press the syrup and berry pulp through the sieve with a wooden spoon.   We needed the seeds in the syrup, because the seeds contain the pectin needed for the berries to gel, but to me, seeds in the jam are a nuisance.    Pressing the jam through the sieve takes a little bit of time,   keep at it till you have only about 2 to 3 Tablespoons of seeds and tough fruit pulp in the sieve.  Stop every now and again to scrape the jam off the bottom of the sieve.   At the end of this, you should have only about a cup of jam, but it will be good jam. 

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