Blackberry Jam\Jelly with Star Anise

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Blackberry Jam\Jelly with Star Anise

Introduction

There is an abundance of wild blackberries around us. Last week we picked at least 10k\22lb of them. Some went into a Southern cobbler (recipe to come), but the rest were destined for jam\jelly.

My issue with blackberries: the seeds; I can't bear them. So seeds out, but I needed to know if they improve the flavour, so we ran an experiment.

We blended the blackberries raw, then de-seeded them using a kitchenaid with the fruit/vegetable strainer attachement. We then made two batches of jam\jelly, one with a muslin\cheesecloth bag of seeds and skin, the other without. To my great surprise our group thought that the jam made without seeds had the fuller earthier flavour.

I should also mention that the jams\jellies that we have been making are what I refer to as 'adult' jams and jellies. The 1-to-1 proportion of sugar to fruit makes sense for commercial producers, but using less increases the concentration of fruit and the flavour.

Plum & Cabernet d'Anjou Jam \ Jelly

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Plum and Cabernet d'Anjou Jam

Introduction

Our first 'Fruits of the Garden' course has begun and this recipe was the first of the jams that we created.

A hint of wine can impart a sophisticated and adult flavour to jam. I discovered a fairly ancient bottle of Cabernet d'Anjou recently. It was past its best for drinking, but made an excellent concentrate for the jam.

We used small golden plums picked from the Circle of Misse garden. They have a sweet and intense flavour, but one must not forget that once heated the skin will raise the tartness of the fruit.

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