Sunday, November 4, 2012

this feels normal

The spruce has been chainsawed into almost manageable pieces.  The power is on.  We have internet access and a full tank of gas. In other words, we are pretty much back to normal.

In deference to the very long lines at local gas stations, we stayed close to home this weekend.  And that means playing in the kitchen.  At the bottom of the freezer (in which every item remained entirely frozen!), I found a large stash of blueberries, then  remembered a post on Hitchhiking to Heaven about blueberry jam made with whiskey.  I like blueberries.  I like whiskey.  Match made in heaven.

I made a few adjustments to the original recipe (less sugar, more booze) and voila! A giant batch of what I'm calling boozy blueberry jam.  Feel free to adjust the amount of alcohol, according to your love of liquor. 

Boozy Blueberry Jam (to beat the Hurricane Sandy Blues)
7 c. blueberries
5 Tbs. + 1 tsp. lime juice
1 c. scotch or bourbon (split in half)
8 Tbs. powdered pectin
5 c. sugar

Combine blueberries, lime juice, 1/2 the alcohol, and pectin in your jelly pan and bring to a boil you can't stir down, mashing the berries as the mixture warms.  Stir in the sugar, and allow the jam to return to a hard boil, stirring constantly for a minute.  Remove from the heat and add the last of the booze, then ladle into canning jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

I've been using Ball RealFruit Classic Flex Batch Pectin recently because it allows me to adjust the amount of pectin according to how much fruit I have, rather than be tied down to a specific amount of fruit, which may or may not be what's in the freezer.  You can also play around with the sugar, reducing it by as much as 30%.  I like a preserve that isn't overly sweet, which is why I usually make jams and jellies without adding commercial pectin; they require less sugar.  But I thought using a whole cup of booze in this recipe might affect the jell-ability of the final product, so I caved and used store-bought pectin.
The scotch adds a smoky, savory flavor that isn't immediately identifiable as booze.  It sneaks up on you through the not-too-sweet-but-intensely-fruity blueberry taste.  Try it with goat cheese or baked brie.  Ooo, that's an idea...


At November 4, 2012 at 10:09 AM , Anonymous Zoe said...

The jam sounds as fabulous as it looks, all lined up on your shelf. Glad to hear you're back to normal, and doubly glad your freezer stayed froze... What a loss that would be!

At November 5, 2012 at 6:24 AM , Anonymous Leda Meredith said...

Yum! I might try a variation of this with juneberries (I have more of those in my freezer).

At November 29, 2012 at 9:03 PM , Blogger molly said...

HOLY SMOKES! must buy two bottles: one for RK at xmas and one for his birthday in march!
sounds amazing!


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