Boy, berries can be messy.
I forget this from year to year, until I have some & I’m making jam & it splatters everywhere & it looks like I’ve been doing illegal surgeries in my kitchen sink.They’re so pretty though. So I forgive them their trespasses, for they know not what they do. And they’re summery, so it stands to reason I’m ready to start using them.
I had all intentions of making this particular jammy jam for my dad for Father’s Day. ‘Cause my dad loves blueberries, you see. But then Jay tried some & loved it, my mother tried some, and then it turned into everyone’s jam! But don’t worry there’s still plenty for dad.
Jay is always trying to get me to make stuff with maple year-round. And I resist because to me it’s so fall. When I think maple, I think of the time maple syrup is harvested, cozy sweaters, crunchy leaves. I don’t think of summer. But then when I was cooking this jam, & I asked Jay for a bourbon recommendation, he instead suggested using Cabin Fever whiskey. And it was genius!
So Jay might be on to something.
Cabin Fever is whiskey with maple syrup IN IT ALREADY. It’s quite sweet, and it’s pretty much amazing.
SMALL BATCH TRIPLE BERRY MAPLE-BOURBON JAM
Makes a little over 2 pints
- 1 pint raspberries
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 pint blackberries
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon bourbon or whiskey of your choice plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup OR 1 tablespoon Cabin Fever whiskey
- Wash berries & dry them thoroughly. Add them to a big bowl with the sugar & let macerate in the refrigerator for anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days.
- Place macerated berries in a large saucepan & mash them with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Then add the lemon juice, lemon zest & maple syrup. Boil until bubbly, then lower heat and let simmer away until thick & syrup-y. You can also cook until 220° F if you have a candy thermometer.
- Remove from heat and stir in whiskey. It’ll bubble a bit and then settle down. Ladle into your sterilized, clean jars leaving 1/2″ headspace. Place lids & bands. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes, and check the next day if they’ve sealed. Any ones without a seal go right into the fridge!
You CAN substitute pitted cherries or chopped strawberries for any one of the berries here, and you can also double or triple the amounts. Or even quadruple them I guess.
And of course, it can be a ‘fridge jam. No need to process it if you’re gonna eat it right away.
Berry jams are the easiest to make; mostly because blueberry has an INSANE amount of natural pectin, so if you add them to a mixed berry jam it comes together without any added pectin or any drama.
You can add them to a peach jam, or cherry jam too with the same result. They’re little PECTIN BOMBS!