Some like it hot.
And my hubby-to-be is one of them.
John loves spicy things! He also happens to have a midnight snack habit that often involves a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I know this because of the evidence I find in the morning- crumbs, empty jelly jars, a dirty knife in the sink. We seem to go through a lot of jelly.
When we visited our dear friends in California recently, our hostess sent us home with blackberry jam she had made from the berries on a bush in her backyard. Hello! John wasted no time… and the jam didn’t last long. Inspired by Lazuli’s sweet gift, I made blackberry jam today…with a kick.
Someday, I’d like to learn how to officially make jellies and jams. This version is simple and quick, and because it doesn’t include pectin or another preserver, it must be eaten within a week or so. There are only a few (beautiful) ingredients.
The process is so easy! First, I muddled the fruit in a small saucepan. I wanted to get some of the juice out of the berries. I just used the back of a spoon.
Next, I used a food processor to combine some sugar, basil leaves, orange juice, and half of a jalapeno (with seeds- that’s where the heat lives!).
I stirred the sugar mixture into the berries and brought it all to a happy simmer on the stove, where it bubbled gently for about 30 minutes. I stirred it and smooshed bigger berries every once in awhile.
Simmering basically broke down the berries and let all of the flavors combine as the mixture reduced. After about a half an hour, I turned off the heat and let it cool completely. It got thicker as it cooled. Then it went into a cute little jar (one of the midnight snack remnants).
And that’s it. I told you it was easy. The flavor is still sweet like a jam, but the basil brings a new flavor that works well with the blackberries. The jalapeno heat is definitely in the background, but it’s there. It’s not your average jam. Yum!
Hmmm. I wonder how hard it is to make peanut butter?
*Basil-Jalapeno Blackberry Jam*
- 2 pints blackberries
- 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 orange juice
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 of one large jalapeno
Muddle the berries in a small saucepan to release the juice. In a food processor, combine the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add this mixture to the berries. Simmer on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring and breaking down larger berry chunks. Let the jam cool completely before storing in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. Serve it on toast, or maybe mix into cream cheese and spread it on your bagel. Be sure to leave it in an convenient place for midnight snackers. Delish!