I got the idea for this jam from Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla fame. She was knee deep in olallieberry season at the time and was posting all sorts of wonderful berry recipes. Granted, I had no idea what an olallieberry was, but it looked to me like it was very similar to a blackberry.
I saved this recipe and her idea for Olallieberry-Port jam the first of June and just bided my time until blackberry season arrived.
I happened to have a very aged bottle of port. In fact, the winery is no longer in business and I was very careful when taking out the cork. It smelled OK, tasted OK, and I didn’t see any “floaties.” “Besides,” I thought, “I am going to boil the heck out of it!”
Moving along, I combined Camilla’s idea with a recipe from my hero and the Queen of Jam, Rachel Saunders.
based on Olallieberry-Port Jam by Camilla and Blackberry Jam with Lemon-Basil by Rachel Saunders
3 1/2 lbs. fresh blackberries (about 3 quarts)
1 3/4 lbs. white cane sugar
3 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
2/3 c. port
Combine all ingredients in a large kettle. Using a potato masher, mash about half the berries as you stir in the sugar, juice and port. Heat slowly, stirring, and bring to a boil. After it reaches a bowl, stir often and boil for 15-20 minutes. Be careful not to scorch the jam. After 15 minutes, start checking for doneness. You can go to Rachel’s site to see her frozen spoon method. I just cook until “jammy.”
After it has reached the “jammy” state, skim off any foam if necessary. Carefully pour hot jam into sterilized jars and seal with sterilized lids and bands. “Gently tap the bottoms of the jars on the counter to release any air bubbles” (tip from Camilla).
Process in a water bath for 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove and let sit undisturbed until jars seal. Just wait and you will start hearing popping sounds all afternoon.
This recipes makes about eight half-pint jars. (I did have to use two of my fake “vintage blue” pint jars.)
For other great jam recipes from or inspired by Rachel Saunders and her most awesome Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, see below. And, a big thank you to Camilla for this inspired idea.
- Balsamic-Cinnamon Blueberry Jam
- Red Nectarine and Candied Ginger Jam
- Peach Marmalade
- Blackberry-Lemon Jam with Cinnamon Basil
“Put a bird on it!”
If you are a fan of Portlandia, you will get this reference. If not, let me simply tell you about these great Avery labels (#22808). You too can make funky, vintage labels for your jam, jelly and canned-goods this summer. (This label was made with Avery’s template maker.)
Abigail, your virtual flower for today is a little odd. You may have them where you live, but I can only grow these during the summer months. I fell in love with them in the rain forest exhibit at our local zoo and I try to grow one every summer.