Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Blackberry Jam, Unleashed...

In a County that thrives on foraging and Game meats, it is not that hard to raid Mother Natures Larder when she is not looking. The Important thing however is to do the plunder justice.

I have been creating a recipe for a dish using Venison and Guinea Fowl, and wanted a real powerful fruity sauce that smacked of hedgerows and open fields.
Blackberries are one of the most abundant berries in the United Kingdom and makes for an excellent Crumble, Pie and even Jam.

I have ended up creating this rather sexy little number that is truly stunning with plenty of natural characteristics and balances of flavours. This will be the base of my sauce for the Game and Poultry dish....Providing I don't steal it for my toast!

Makes enough for 1x1kg Kilner Jar

1KG fresh Blackberries, the plumper the better, washed and drained.
450g Preserve Sugar
50g Soft Brown Sugar
1 Sprig Rosemary, leaves squeezed
4 Juniper Berries
1 Star Anise
Pinch of Pink Peppercorns
6 Cloves
Grated zest of 1 Grapefruit
Juice of ½ Grapefruit
6 fl ozs pure apple juice (or one fresh eater, grated)
100ml Ruby Port
1x1Kilo Kilner Jar or several smaller Jam Jars, sterilised and fully dried (best way to dry in oven on low heat).
Disc of grease proof.
The Rosemary & Star Anise adds a whole new level of flavour to a classic Jam


  • Place the Blackberries and the sugar into either a Jam Pan or a solid base Saucepan. Give a good stir through, taking care not to damage the Blackberries too much.
  • Leave for roughly 30-40 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve in the natural juice.
  • Place a small plate in your Fridge to chill down.
  • Place the Juniper, Star Anise, Peppercorns and Cloves Into a small Muslin square, Gather up all the corners, and tie up with a long length of Butchers string and tether the spice bag to the pan handle, ensuring the spices can submerge in the mix.
  • Add the Rosemary, Grapefruit Zest & Apple/Apple juice and place the pan on a low heat, stir and allow to come up to a bubbling heat.
  • Add the squeezed Grapefruit juice and the Port, give a stir and allow to boil for 5-8 minutes.
  • Using the chilled plate, spoon a small amount of the jam onto it to check the consistency of the Jam when set. Allow to cool for a few minutes. If the Jam sample sets to your liking, remove from Pan from heat and allow to cool down slightly. If, however the Jam is not thick enough, place back onto the stove and cook out for another 5-10 minutes. Repeat the above until your perfect Jam is ready.
  • Remove the Rosemary & Spice pouch, and then pour the Jam into a sealable glass jar.
  • Place the Paper disc onto the Jam, Secure the Lid and store until required.
Any good quality Apple Juice will work, but will change the background sweetness
and balance, so taste, taste, taste!

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