Preserves

Blackberry + Brandy Jam


Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 30 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Jammin’

Hello my lovelies! It’s about time we circled back to jam. We’re pulling together a recipe to make any time of year really. Let’s face it. In NZ even at the height of their seasons our fresh berries are ridiculously expensive. Fresh strawberry jam in December is often the best you can do. I remember going to a pick-your-own berry farm with my mum as a child but those days are long gone in a lot of places here. So I am giving you permission to head to the freezer. Obviously if you can get a hold of fresh blackberries then you should totally use them. But there is no farm-to-table guilt here today. To give our blackberry jam a full rounded flavour that feels a bit luxurious we are using up some of our brandy left over from Christmas. No one ever uses up a whole bottle so let’s bring a little holiday cheer to our recipes year round. Berries break down quickly when cooked especially if they’ve been frozen so this jam comes together pretty quickly. This is a small batch making 4 one cup jars so double it (or more) if you want to really stock those pantry shelves.

As always we begin with sterilising out jars and getting our equipment ready. Thoroughly wash and rinse your jars and lids. Put the jars in a 120C (250F) oven. They will need to be kept above 100C for at least 10 minutes to make absolutely sure all the nasties are dead so do this first.

Put the lids in a heatproof bowl or jug and set aside. We will pour boiling water over these later. Lay out a folded tea towel next to the stove so you can put your hot jars there later. Put 2 or 3 small saucers or plates into the freezer to chill. We will use these to test if our jam is ready.

Put the blackberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and brandy into your pot or preserving pan. Before juicing your lemon use a vegetable peeler to cut the strip of zest.

Cook the blackberries over a medium heat until they have broken down and become pulpy – about 10 minutes. You can encourage them to break down by smushing them with your wooden spoon or a vegetable masher.

Turn the heat right down and add the sugar.

Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. You will be able to hear and feel if there are sugar granules still floating around. It makes a scritchy sound on the bottom of the pot when you stir. When the sugar is dissolved turn the heat up to medium high and stop stirring. The jam should be at a boil. Adjust the temperature up or down to get a steady boil.

Use your thermometer to keep track of the temperature. I like to use the wrinkle test as my final test that the jam is ready but the thermometer lets you know when it’s getting close. Once it starts to show above 103C then start testing for a set. Also boil your jug.

To do this get one of your cold saucers out of the freezer. Drop a small spoonful of jam on it and pop it back in the freezer for a minute. Run your finger through the jam and see if it wrinkles up. If it does then the jam is ready.

You can double check that the temperature of the jam is 104.5C to 105C. Now get your jars out of the oven carefully and place them on the folded towel. Pour boiling water over your lids.

Using a ladle or a small pyrex jug carefully fill the jars leaving 3-5 mm of space at the top. Use a clean paper towel dipped in boiling water to clean any drips of the rim of the jars.

Drain the lids and seal the jars. Hold the jars with a towel so you can make sure the lids are on tight. Leave the jars to cool before labelling and storing. You can easily label your jams with a gold or silver permanent marker – when the jars are empty just wipe the writing off with a little nail polish remover.

Go forth and make toast, fill cakes, bake crumble bars, jazz up apple crumbles and generally spread blackberry joy wherever you go..

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Blackberry + Brandy Jam


Prep Time : 15 mins | Cook Time : 30 mins | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Jammin’

Makes : approx. 4 cups

Dark luxurious blackberry jam laced with festive brandy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilogram fresh or frozen blackberries
  • juice of one lemon
  • a 2-3 inch strip of lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup (60 mls) brandy
  • 750 grams white sugar

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Large heavy bottomed saucepan or preserving pan
  • 5 one cup jam jars with lids
  • thermometer
  • small saucers
  • small pyrex jug or a ladle with a spout

Directions:

As always we begin with sterilising out jars and getting our equipment ready. Thoroughly wash and rinse your jars and lids. Put the jars in a 120C (250F) oven. They will need to be kept above 100C for at least 10 minutes to make absolutely sure all the nasties are dead so do this first.

Put the lids in a heatproof bowl or jug and set aside. We will pour boiling water over these later. Lay out a folded tea towel next to the stove so you can put your hot jars there later. Put 2 or 3 small saucers or plates into the freezer to chill. We will use these to test if our jam is ready.

Put the blackberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and brandy into your pot or preserving pan. Before juicing your lemon use a vegetable peeler to cut the strip of zest.

Cook the blackberries over a medium heat until they have broken down and become pulpy – about 10 minutes. You can encourage them to break down by smushing them with your wooden spoon or a vegetable masher.

Turn the heat right down and add the sugar.

Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. You will be able to hear and feel if there are sugar granules still floating around. It makes a scritchy sound on the bottom of the pot when you stir. When the sugar is dissolved turn the heat up to medium high and stop stirring. The jam should be at a boil. Adjust the temperature up or down to get a steady boil.

Use your thermometer to keep track of the temperature. I like to use the wrinkle test as my final test that the jam is ready but the thermometer lets you know when it’s getting close. Once it starts to show above 103C then start testing for a set. Also boil your jug.

To do this get one of your cold saucers out of the freezer. Drop a small spoonful of jam on it and pop it back in the freezer for a minute. Run your finger through the jam and see if it wrinkles up. If it does then the jam is ready.

You can double check that the temperature of the jam is 104.5C to 105C. Now get your jars out of the oven carefully and place them on the folded towel. Pour boiling water over your lids.

Using a ladle or a small pyrex jug carefully fill the jars leaving 3-5 mm of space at the top. Use a clean paper towel dipped in boiling water to clean any drips of the rim of the jars.

Drain the lids and seal the jars. Hold the jars with a towel so you can make sure the lids are on tight. Leave the jars to cool before labelling and storing. You can easily label your jams with a gold or silver permanent marker – when the jars are empty just wipe the writing off with a little nail polish remover.

Go forth and make toast, fill cakes, bake crumble bars, jazz up apple crumbles and generally spread blackberry joy wherever you go..

Cook’s Notes:

  • The alcohol in the brandy is completely cooked off so don’t worry about serving this jam to kids.
  • This jam is a fabulous foil for lemon or apples – add a little to your crumbles or sponge cakes for a extra layer of fruity flavour.

 – If sealed in properly sterilised jars this jam will keep on the pantry shelf for 6 to 9 months. Refrigerate after opening – 

© 2018 Wellington Bakehouse. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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2 thoughts on “Blackberry + Brandy Jam

    1. Thanks Mimi – we are rapidly rolling into autumn and fresh berries are gone but frozen still make fabulous jam – i have a pile of quinces that my parents sent to me that just came good so working on those next!

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