Yesterday I reached into my freezer to retrieve some AA batteries and surfaced with four pounds of blackberries soaked in vodka and sugar — leftovers from the liqueur I made last summer.
I’d forgotten I had them, and this is why . . .
Yep, that’s “Free Beef!” from Les Schwab tires. Stewart brought it home with a full set of all-terrain treads for the Jeep and I can’t quite bring myself to do anything with it.
Now that I’ve shown you my shame, I’m going to have to clean it up. But first, of course, I had to make some jam.
Blackberries are the great romance in my love affair with fruit. I could not say enough about how I adore and covet them, so I’m a little shocked that I misplaced these. Shocked but happy. Wild blackberries in April!
Admittedly, these were not the best of last summer’s blackberries. Those were made into jam and eaten up long ago. The berries I froze were perhaps a little small, a touch seedy — but that month-long soak in vodka did them some good. I’m happy enough with the way this jam turned out that I want to give some to you. (See the bottom of this post for giveaway details.)
I know a mojito is traditionally made with rum, but there have been plenty of vodka mojito sightings, and the drink otherwise includes exactly the flavors I wanted. So what we have here is vodka-soaked blackberries, sugar, lime, and mint.
Blackberry Mojito Jam
4 pounds blackberry liqueur tailings
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
Zest of 3 limes, minced
40 small, tender mint leaves, muddled
I determined these quantities by making my own educated guesses (such as they are) and by tasting. I put the blackberries, sugar, lime zest, and lime rind into a big glass bowl and left everything for a morning’s maceration while I went to the farmer’s market to wrangle some strawberries — another story.
When I got home, the mixture went straight into my new copper preserving pan and I brought it to a boil. Then I added the muddled mint and kept right on boiling until the jam reached the setting point. I canned the jam in a hot water bath, leaving 1/4 inch head space and processing for 5 minutes. (We can get away with that, here at sea level.) Yielded exactly 3 pints.
Why I want to give you some. Because this jam came straight from my heart, entirely made up as I went along with only what I had on hand in my kitchen (or plucked from containers on my patio) — and because blackberries make me so purely happy — I want to celebrate with my first giveaway. If that sounds good to you, leave a comment below and, on May 10, I’ll randomize y’all (assuming there’s more than one of you) and send the winner a half-pint jar. Do keep in mind that I don’t have a way to capture your email address with this blog, so if you comment, be sure I either know you or know how to find you — through your commenting profile or some other way. :-)