My dad, Ken, is the man when it comes to all things garden and wine. Every year he has a huge garden full of garlic, potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes (just to name a few!), but the thing I love about his garden the most is when he uses his extra veggies to make homemade wine! He’s made every kind you can think of out of currants, blackberries and jalapenos, apples, apricots, and even tomatoes!
Unlike typical jam and jelly bread spreads this recipe is a sweet/tart mix. It’s a celebration of that time of year when the garden (or berry bush) is just bursting with freshness and our way of saying thanks to my dad for all the FREE homemade wine over the years.
Fancy up a cheese tray with this jam and simple crackers, add a bold/sweet glaze to any poultry or pork, or give it as swanky hostess gift. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this customizable recipe. Mix and match your favorite seasonal berries and white wine to create a variation all your own! You can even hang the berries in a cheese cloth to create jelly instead of jam if you prefer. Personally, I can never give myself permission to make jellies because of all the fruit it wastes. After handpicking each and every blackberry (I have the scars to prove it!) I wanna utilize every precious piece.
Berry & Wine Jam
Yield: About 7 Half Pint Jars (8 oz)
6 Cups of Berries (blackberries, sliced strawberries, raspberries, etc.)
2 Cups of Dry White Wine (I used an Apricot flavored wine to add more depth to the jam. Just make sure whatever wine you choose compliments the sweet/tart flavor of your berries)
4 Cups of Sugar
2 Plates you can put in the freezer
STEP 1: Place plates in the freezer so that they are ready for jam thickness test later on.
STEP 2: Zest lemons by cutting the peel into match-stick sizes (about 3 Tablespoons).
STEP 3: Combine berries, sugar, lemon zest, & wine in a large sauce pan. Let mixture sit for 1 hour stirring occasionally while enjoying the rest of your wine.
STEP 3: Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is no longer cloudy. Reduce heat to a medium boil stirring continuously until the jam begins to thicken (about thirty minutes).
STEP 4: Grab a cold plate from the freezer & place a teaspoon of the jam on it’s surface. Put it back in the freezer for 1 minute. If you can run your finger through it, and it does not try to come back together, it is ready to can. Continue testing the jam’s thickens every 5 minutes until it is ready.
STEP 5: Pour jam into hot sterilized jars, within 1/2 inch from the top. Remove any air bubbles by moving a wooden or plastic (not metal!) utensil up and down the middle of the jar. Seal with hot lids and apply screw bands.
STEP 6: Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
STEP 7: Remove and let the jars completely cool and seal for 12-24 hours. If a jar lid still pops up and down when you press on it, after the cooling stage, the jar did not seal properly. Simply place this jar in the fridge and eat first. Store in a cool dark place up to 1 year.
* All in all your crushed berries + wine need to = 6 cups of berry juice. Obviously this will alter the flavor some, but in case you didn’t pick enough berries just add in a bit more wine.
** Watch out for the berry bandit who likes to steal your stash of berries when you are not looking!!
My dad’s birthday was a few weeks ago and we surprised him with a weekend visit! It was so much fun to be able to give him our first jar of Blackberry & Apricot Wine Jam… A smashing success of course!
Here’s to the first Canning with… in our 2013 Summer Series.
How are your canning projects going thus far?! Any tips or recipes you care to share?
From the Farm
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