Experimenting with Blackberry Basil Jam (yes, basil!)

Experimenting with Blackberry Basil Jam (yes, basil!)

I was watching Giada on Food Network recently and saw her recipe for “Sweet Basil and Blackberry Jam.”  It looked delicious and sounded intriguing, so I decided to make a variation of it this morning.  (See the Recipe Tab for the recipe.) 

Giada used a pound of store-bought, frozen blackberries, but I had previouly frozen some large, fresh blackberries, so I decided to use those.  There was slightly more than 1 lb.—closer to 18-19 ounces.  I thawed the blackberries in the microwave, and then mashed them slightly. 

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While Giada used all of the juice and blackberries in her recipe, my blackberries were extremely juicy when I thawed them.  To make sure that they would thicken enough during cooking, I drained off about 1/2 a cup of blackberry juice, leaving about 1/4 cup of the juice.  This turned out to be the right choice.  The resulting jam was thick but still soft enough to spread.  You will need to judge how juicy your berries are and adjust accordingly, but I would leave at least 1/4 cup of juice. 

Giada’s recipe called for 3 1/2 ounces of fresh basil, but I decided that I wanted a more subtle basil flavor for my jam, so I cut it back to 1 1/4 ounces.  After all, this was an experiment, right?

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I added the basil, 2/3 cup sugar,  the juice from 1 orange, and the juice from 1 lemon to my small food processor.

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Then I blended the basil, sugar, and juice mixture until it was smooth. 

I put ut the blackberries, remaining juice, and the basil and sugar mixture into a medium saucepan. and brought it to a simmer over medium heat.

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I let it simmer (bubbling some) until the mixture was thickened.  Throughout the cooking process, I stirred it occasionally.  It took about 30 minutes for it to reach the desired consistency, which was thick but still pourable.  Remember, jam thickens more as it cools. 

Then I removed the pan from the heat and let it cool.  After it cooled for about 10 minutes I poured it into two pint size mason jars and let it cool (uncovered) for another hour.  Of course, I didn’t wait the whole hour before tasting it!  The resulting jam was a nice blend of tartness from the citrus juice with sweetness from the fruit and sugar.  The basil added an earthy touch that I liked without overpowering the fruit flavor. 

After cooling for an hour, I placed the lids on the jars and refrigerated them.  About an hour or so later, I decided to try the jam again to see how much it had thickened and what the flavor was like when the jam was cooler.  The jam was thick but still soft, which meant that it spread nicely.  Also, the basil became even more subtle as it cooled, but it still was noticeable.  If I hadn’t known that I put basil in the jam, it may have been hard to identify exactly what added the depth of flavor, but you would know that it was not your regular blackberry jam. 

I would definitely make this again.  I may even add a little more basil next time to see if I like making it a more predominent flavor.

Try it and let me know what you think.

The recipe can be found by clicking here.

© 2013 FoodieOasis

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