I am of the opinion that lime, in almost all cases is far superior in flavor to lemon when it comes to canning fruits. I love how it brightens up flavors, and whatever fruity-limey concoction I’ve put on my toast or oatmeal in the morning puts me in mind of eating sunshine. I also feel like most jam recipes have way too much sugar. I know there has to be a certain amount of sugar and acid in order to be properly preserved, but the research I’ve done has told me that the 1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar found in most recipes is kind of overkill.
Not only is it healthier to find a way to preserve with less sugar, but it’s tastier as well. You can taste the fruit more, and frees up those extra sugar grams for something else. Like broccoli. Or ice cream.
Blackberry Lime Jam
6-7 cups blackberries
Zest and juice from one lime -or the equivalent of 2 TBS of juice
2 cups white sugar
1 cup honey (from your local beekeeper!)
2 1/2 TBS pectin -If you’re using a box, this is about half a packet
Put your clean berries in a saucepan, mix your pectin into the sugar and pour over your berries stirring gently so the berries start macerating. Zest in your lime and squeeze in the juice. Sorry about the graininess of this next picture, I was experimenting with a setting on my camera, and forgot to take a regular picture when I was done.
Turn the heat on medium, and start cooking down your fruit. If you’ve ever made jam before, this is the point where you’ll wonder if it will ever stop looking like syrup and thicken up. Have faith, just when you start to panic because the fruit keeps sliding right off your spoon instead of the nice coating that means you’re at a gel, it’ll gel.
It is at *this* point that I add my cup of honey. I do this because I don’t want to cook out all the good stuff that’s in my local, raw honey. I realize that the water bath probably kills all the good stuff anyway, but since it doesn’t change the nice gel of the jam to add it later, I figure it doesn’t really hurt any to cook it a little bit less.
Your jam is done! Turn off your heat, skim any foam that’s bubbled up, and ladle your jam into warm, sterilized jars.
For me, this made five half pint jars. With blackberries it’s often a toss-up for how much jam you’ll get. My berries were wild gleaned, and wild berries are often not as juicy as the big fat ones you buy to plant in your garden. How many jars you get depends on the juiciness of your berries is what I’m saying.
Add the jars to your canner -or large pot- making sure the water covers your jars by at least an inch. Once your water comes back up to a boil, set your timer for 10 minutes. After ten minutes remove your jars and let them cool for a couple hours and check your seals. Any that didn’t seal stick in the fridge for immediate nomming, or you could freeze it. Don’t freeze until your jar is completely cool though, or you might be cleaning up a sticky freezer mess.
Label and date your jars! I’m often guilty of not doing this right away, and regretting it later. When you’re in the height of canning season, making new things all the time it’s easy to forget what’s what. Especially if you’re doing many of the same type of thing.
Yum! It’s really so easy, and a thousand times better than anything you can buy in a store.
(Originally published 7/24/12)