In early August, the big canning pot moves into its summer home on the back burner of the kitchen stove. Since we began our gardening adventure several years ago, the month of August has been dominated by efforts to preserve as much summer produce as possible for the winter. Some lucky years, like this one, the early part of the month allows me to to warm up for the canning marathon with a few weeks of sweet fruit jams.
Blackberries were especially abundant in our yard this summer, with the added bonus that they required little to no day-to-day care. The blackberry canes were here when we got here, having been planted sometime early in the previous century by the people who built the house. This year’s crop nearly overwhelmed us, and we found ourselves picking blackberries daily for nearly three weeks straight. This bumper crop ended up as three batches of jam, as well as one batch of seedless jelly (big hassle for little reward), blackberry pancake syrup, and blackberry ice pops. We were also able to freeze several quarts in plastic freezer bags.
I make more of the blackberry port than any other jam, yet it never seems to last past the holidays. The recipe can be found online here: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/blackberry-port-jam/ It was published in a BHG home canning guide four or five years ago, and continues to be our family’s favorite homemade jam.
This jam goes best with freshly baked bread.
( As always with canning, the recipe needs to be followed exactly, and proper sterilization methods used to ensure the preserved jam is free of harmful organisms. )