preserving: blackberry plum cardamom jam
New favorite. Might be 'best of' Burke Avenue Farm preserves (oh: I HOPE you love that name---Burke Avenue Farm---it's what I am calling my humble little Seattle urban farm). Did I mention it is under construction? It is still largely dirt, but we have sprinklers etched into the ground and this [first] year's garden boxes and plots have given me piles of lettuce, herbs and enough tomatoes to make quite a few rounds of tomato jam. And still: I have white pumpkins, black cabbage, trevisio (Italian radicchio) and Italian climbing summer squash.
Watch while we build! Farm updates show up on this blog---and in my newsletter (sign-up to the right).
But back to canning the bounty.
Blackberries are a free for all here, they grow like weeds so it wasn't difficult to get my hands on them. If I run short on time to go pick them myself, I snag a few larger-than-life blackberries from my neighbor and friend, Helen. She is a brilliant resource, friend and neighbor---she has been gardening for 20 some odd years and every inch of her plot is growing edibles. She even sells her produce right from her yard (a one-woman farmer's market---though next summer I hope to make it two!).
(Fun tip: you can watch a video clip of Helen---look for "Urban gardener's tips and tricks." Note: they accidentally call her Sharon instead of Helen. OH and watch for a 'point' toward "neighbors" growing tomatoes---you will see a 2 second glimpse of our garden boxes! Our claim to fame!).
At a minimum, next summer I will start selling some of my preserves. Then I will happily plunk a jar of this blackberry plum cardamom jam into your hands---insisting you give it a try.
I know: you don't all live nearby. In that case: just snag some blackberries, plums and make some of this jam!
The rum I had on hand (any dark rum will do); but I have the Washington State Fruit Commission to thank for sending me a box of glorious Early Italian Plums. (Is it just me or is there an Italian theme running across the produce section of this blog?!). I am thrilled to be a part of their CANbassador program, encouraging people to take on home canning and soak up all Washington State---or whatever is local for you---has to offer. LOVE that you can whip over to their site and download labels and find easy-to-use canning recipes.
Blackberry Plum Cardamom Jam 5-6 half pint jars.
2 tsp cardamom 4 1/2 LBS blackberries and plums combined 1 LB 13 oz sugar 1/3 cup lemon juice
Place plums and sugar in bowl and let macerate 30 minutes (or more). Add blackberries and cardamom and place on stove. Let bubble and cook for about 30 minutes. I go for a high bubble: not so it sticks incessantly, but not a low simmer either.
Stirring is less about mixing and more to make sure it won't stick to the bottom of the pan (you will need to stir more in the last few minutes). The jam needs to 'come together' so incessant stirring is a no-no. At the end your jam will look like a single unit bubbling as one, versus looking 'loose' and runny. Clean and heat jars, add boiling water to lids, wipe jar rims with sanitary wet rag then fill to within 1/3 inch of top. Place on lids, twist on rings and insert into water bath for 10 minutes.