Operation Blackberry: Day one and two

We are lucky enough to live very close to a blackberry “U-pick” farm.  I try to go every year.  This year we both went at (7:00 in the morning) and picked twelve quarts.   I think we were trying to out pick each other.

What to do with twelve quarts of blackberries?

Well, as soon as we got back home, I made two smoothies for our breakfast.

A few blackberries, my FAVORITE yogurt…

…add some milk, ice, and a blender. Get ya’ some smoothies.

Then,  I made three pints of jelly and five pints of jam.  (I used whatever recipes were in the pectin boxes.)

Next,  I revisited  Blackberry-Peach Cobbler with Thyme from a post from last season.

And after all this, I rested.  (Do you realize how much sugar I went through?)

So, on day two of Operation Blackberry I wanted to make something besides the old regulation jams and jellies.  I found a Blackberry-Lemon Jam with Thyme recipe at Cooking Club of America.   I added a few directions.

3  cups blackberries (I may have used a bit more—you know—trying to get rid of them!)
3  cups sugar
zest of one lemon, finely chopped
2  tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3  sprigs fresh thyme

In a large saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar, lemon peel and lemon juice. With potato masher, crush until well blended.

Add thyme sprigs.

Cook over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes or until mixture comes to a rolling boil.  Do not quit stirring.


When mixture comes to a rolling boil, continue to boil 5 to 6 minutes until thickened.  Keep on stirring or you may have a mess.  (Jams always have a tendency to boil over in my kitchen.)

Remove thyme.  The best way to do this is to catch them as you ladle jam into the jars.  Ladle into sterilized jars; cover with sterilized lid flats and bands. Cool; store in refrigerator up to 6 months.

Makes about 2 pints (four half pint jars.)

The blue tool in the center has a magnet on the end. I love this tool and it is invaluable when canning for grabbing lids out of boiling water.

One jam making tip.  Line your cabinet with newspapers before you start filling jars.  It will save time when cleaning up.

See what I mean?  I always make a huge mess.

Since the nephews are coming for the Fourth,  I thought that some blackberry syrup would be good for pancakes.  Here is a recipe from Epicurious for Blackberry Syrup.  I added a cinnamon stick to the mix.

Blackberry Syrup

1 ½ pounds blackberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick (about three inches)

Bring berries, sugar, and water to a boil in a 4 quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Add cinnamon stick.   Reduce heat and simmer,  uncovered,  stirring occasionally until fruit is soft,  for about 30 minutes.   Pour mixture through a chinoise into a bowl.

Let cool and place in a sterilized jar.    Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.   Serve syrup at room temperature.

Makes about 1 pint.

Next time, I might add some lemon zest to the mix.

Still have four quarts left, but that will have to be another post.  I have to go water the garden and pull weeds!  🙂

Stay tuned—more to come.


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