Vanilla Blackberry Basil Jam, The Weekend Whisk & A Giveaway!

by Kate on July 14, 2012

Blackberry Basil Jam - FoodBabbles.com

I don’t know about you, but I love fresh jams. I’m always intrigued by people who make their own from scratch. Any time I’m at a flea market or event that sells artisan goods, I’m always stock up on homemade jams or preserves. For many years now, I’ve been telling myself “This is the year! I’m going to try making my own jam or preserves. I’m gonna can something!” Yet each year goes by and my fruit goes uncanned.  You know, the thing is that each time I say I’m going to I honestly am deterred because I’m intimidated by the whole experience. I don’t want to go buy a water bath canner or pressure canner. I’m not a fan of buying any equipment that only serves one purpose that honestly, I’m not going to likely use that often. In addition to that, I am clueless about pectin and plate tests and the list goes on. Frankly, the whole idea scares me. Until now.

Recently I was approached by Ball jars and asked if I would like to participate in National Can-It-Forward Day which just so happens to be today. Here was my chance, this was the motivation I needed to get my rear in gear and give canning a try already. So immediately I responded yes. Shortly there after I received their Canning Discovery Kit and I was ready to go, although I was still intimidated by the process. Once I opened that box, that’s when I got excited for this project. Really excited. They have made this easy!

The kit is designed to demystify home canning and offers a beginner’s approach to small batch canning. It’s perfect if you’re just starting out like me. Inside, you’ll find their canning rack and lifter which makes any large stockpot into a water bath canner. Whoo hoo! No buying a one use item. So right there, that was a load off. Next, they included a Beginners’ Guide To Preserving that has simple recipes to get you started. I was no longer intimidated thanks to their clear step-by-step instructions. I was fresh out of excuses and ready to get canning!

I flipped through the guide and decided jam would be the direction to head for my maiden voyage. I came across a recipe for simple blackberry jam and it just so happened that I had some blackberries in the fridge. Of course, you know me… I couldn’t just simply follow the recipe, even if it was my first time out. I wanted to make this very first batch into something a little special.

For my blackberry jam I went ahead and added fresh basil and lemon zest along with a small splash of vanilla. The result is a fresh, unique, slightly sweet jam that goes wonderfully on crusty bread all by itself but I especially liked it on bread with mascarpone or ricotta as well. This jam is simple to make yet has a subtle complexity to its flavor.

Now, I mentioned there would be a giveaway. Would you like to give canning a try? Have you been avoiding it because it all seems too complex or time-consuming? Today I have for you a Ball Canning Discovery Kit all your own as well as a case of Ball jars to start you off on your journey to all things preserved and canned. It’s not complicated at all with the help of Ball. Also, you can learn more about National Can-It-Forward Day as well as countless other tips on the Ball website. I found it to be a wonderful resource. So if you’d like to get in on this and give canning a shot read on.

Here’s the scoop:

To Enter: {Mandatory Entry} Simply leave me a comment telling me, what would you like to try preserving or canning? Simple, right? But if you’d like even more chances to win…

Optional Bonus Entries: Be sure to leave a separate comment for each of these that you complete since each individual item completed will be counted as an entry!

– Sign up for Ball’s Free Canning Newsletter

– Subscribe to Food Babbles emails

– Pin a picture from this post and follow me on Pinterest

– Follow Food Babbles on Twitter

– “Like” Food Babbles on Facebook

– Follow Food Babbles on Google+

Entries will be accepted until 9pm EST on July 20th. Winner will be selected via random.org. The winner will be contacted by the email address provided and will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within that time frame, another winner will be selected via random.org. This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Good Luck!!

*Disclosure: I was provided with a Ball Canning Discovery Kit at no cost to me. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This giveaway is now closed.

Now, here’s an abridged version of The Weekend Whisk This week you may have missed:

 

Balsamic Fruit Salad

 

Fresh Sweet Cherry Pie

 

Strawberry Charlotte

 

One Year Ago: Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies

Vanilla Blackberry Basil Jam

1 hour

Yield: 3 pints

Vanilla Blackberry Basil Jam

Easy to make blackberry jam with basil undertones.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups sugar
  • zest from 1 lemon, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 9 cups crushed berries
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Wash your canning jars and place them in your water bath canner about an inch apart from each other and from the sides of the pot. Also sterilize the lids and rings. Fill with hot water until it covers about 2 inches above them. Cover.
  2. Bring water to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the jars to sit in the hot water until you’re ready to put the jam in.
  3. Place a plate in the freezer. This will be used to check your jam for doneness.
  4. In a food processor, pulse the sugar, lemon zest and the chopped basil until no large pieces of basil remain.
  5. Combine the sugar mixture, berries, lemon juice and vanilla in a large deep 8-10 quart saucepan.
  6. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  7. Cook rapidly to gelling point. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.
  8. Remove from heat. Skim foam. Strain jam through a fine mesh sieve if you want a seedless jam.
  9. Place a small amount of the hot jam onto the chilled plate. Set the plate back in the freezer until the jam is cooled to room temperature. Gently run your finger through the cooled spread, if it separates then slowly returns to its original form, it is ready to process.
  10. Ladle the hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars. Put on the two-piece caps just until hand tight and place on the canning rack and gently lower into the boiling-water canner. Make sure the water covers the jars by 1-2 inches. Process for 15 minutes in water bath canner.
  11. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and allow to stand for 5 minutes before removing jars.
  12. Remove the jars from the canner and set them upright on a dry towel 1-2 inches apart and allow them to cool naturally for 12-24 hours before checking for a seal. After 24 hours, press the top of the lid to ensure that it is concave and does not flex.
  13. If a seal has not formed, the jars can be immediately reprocessed by removing the lid and reheating the food and repeating the canning steps.
https://foodbabbles.com/vanilla-blackberry-basil-jam-a-giveaway/

*Disclosure: Ball provided me with a Canning Discovery Kit at no charge so that I could give home canning a try and will also provide a Canning Discovery Kit for the winner of this giveaway. As always, all opinions here are my own.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy @ Noble Pig July 14, 2012 at 10:37 am

How gorgeous does this sound! I love it when herbs are in jam!

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Kate July 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Thank you so very much, Cathy! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I adore herbs in jam as well, or any unexpected place

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amy marantino July 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm

i would like to can some NJ tomatoes

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Kate July 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Ooo! I’m with you! Jersey tomatoes are just coming into season too so perfect timing for us to learn canning. Good luck!

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amy marantino July 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm

i “Like” Food Babbles on Facebook

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amy marantino July 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm

i Follow Food Babbles on Google+

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meredith July 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I want to try preserving summer peaches

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Kate July 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm

That sounds like a wonderful first preserving project. Those would be so nice in the winter months to dig out of the pantry as a nice little sweet.

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meredith July 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

i follow you on pinterest and pinned http://pinterest.com/pin/248260998179497495/

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meredith July 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I like Food Babbles on Facebook

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meredith July 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I Follow Food Babbles on Google+

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meredith July 14, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I Follow Food Babbles on twitter

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Meghan Finley July 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I’d like to can apricots

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Kate July 15, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Yum! Great choice.

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Meghan Finley July 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I Signed up for Ball’s Free Canning Newsletter

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Meghan Finley July 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm
Meghan Finley July 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I Follow Food Babbles on Google+

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Renee G July 15, 2012 at 2:31 am

I’d love to make dill pickles. I just love these.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

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Kate July 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Ooo! I love dill pickles. I bet homemade ones would be awesome.

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Renee G July 15, 2012 at 2:34 am

Signed up for their newsletter.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

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Lisa July 16, 2012 at 2:16 am

In the Spring of 2010, I finally canned. I went nuts, making all kinds of jams, jellies..you name it. It worked well, but I was afraid to give them away because even though they sealed perfectly in the final water bath, I couldn’t be 100% sure someone wouldn’t eat some and get botulism!! I still have 30 jars of jams and jellies in a box in my kitchen. I think it’s time to ditch them!

Your blackberry jam looks incredible..the addition of basil is a fantastic idea – I can only imagine the taste and fragrance! LOVE blackberries and love the little baby ball jars!

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Kate July 16, 2012 at 6:37 am

Oh that’s too funny! Yes, I’m not sure that two years later your 30 jars are still good 😉 They may have exceeded their shelf life now.

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April @ Angel's Homestead July 16, 2012 at 5:49 am

Great giveaway! This will be my first year canning, hopefully. I’m like you and have been procrastinating for several years now. For my first canning attempt it would be tomato sauce, since I use so much of it in my cooking.

I’m in love with the baby ball jars you used, to cute!

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Kate July 16, 2012 at 6:38 am

Hi April! Thanks so much for passing by and entering the giveaway. Hopefully you’ll get the opportunity to can this year. It wasn’t nearly as complicated as I had made it out to be in my own head 😉 And glad you like the little jars! Perfect for jams.

Reply

April @ Angel's Homestead July 16, 2012 at 5:53 am

Signed up for Ball’s Free Canning Newsletter.

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April @ Angel's Homestead July 16, 2012 at 5:55 am

Following you on Twitter @AngelsHomestead

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Christine July 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm

ooh we just did our second canning job this past weekend. We did an apricot habanero jam. To DIE for. If you like heat of course! It had red bell peppers, red onions, apricots and the ol’ hot habaneros. I have to make shift my canning kit because I don’t have one!

I would love to try next to do some home made chili sauces, ketchups, bbq sauces…. love those condiments!

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Kate July 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm

That apricot habanero jam sounds amazing!! That’s right up my alley 😉 And I love the idea of the homemade sauces. I’ve made bbq sauce but never ketchup… *note to self 😉 make ketchup! Great idea, Christine!

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Christine July 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm

email me, and I can forward you the link to the jam! while cooking it, it makes your nose cringe, cuz you know the heat is coming!

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Kate July 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Will do!! Thanks 🙂

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Jennie @themessybakerblog July 18, 2012 at 8:55 am

This jam sounds divine. I canned for the first time ever last year. I made a smooth peach butter that was amazing. However, I am a mess in the kitchen when it comes to canning. I had drips of peach butter everywhere.

Also, I love your blog. So much so, that I added a link to your blog on my fav foodies list.

Now, if I won I’d make peach butter again.

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Kate July 18, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Wow!! Thank you SO much Jennie for including me in your links. I really appreciate that. I’m so flattered and I’m really glad that you like my blog. On another note, I adore fruit butters but I’ve actually never had peach butter before. That sound so tasty! I’ll have to look over on your site to see if you have that recipe up so I can make it 😉 And you and I are alike in the whole “messy baker” aspect. I am not neat at all in my kitchen, despite my best efforts!

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Jennie @themessybakerblog July 18, 2012 at 8:55 am

I follow you on twitter!

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Julie July 19, 2012 at 8:28 am

thanks for the giveaway I would like to can tomatoes and green beans

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Kate July 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Glad you like the giveaway, Julie! Good luck!

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Julie July 19, 2012 at 8:28 am

like u on fb Julie A Scott Laws

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Julie July 19, 2012 at 8:31 am

email subscriber to you

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Throuthehaze July 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I’d like to make pickles
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

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Kate July 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Yum! Love pickles and I bet that homemade ones are fantastic. Great choice!

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Throuthehaze July 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm

“Like” Food Babbles on Facebook: Rae Pavey

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Jeanne in Toledo July 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I used to can a lot – and I’d LOVE to start again!

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Kate July 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm

That’s great Jeanne! It’s a wonderful kitchen project, isn’t it?

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Jeanne in Toledo July 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I subscribe to your email messages

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Jeanne in Toledo July 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm

…and I “like” you on FB.

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Jeanne in Toledo July 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I also subscribed to the Ball newsletter – thanks for telling me about it! I have found some tempting recipes on their website!

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Kate July 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm

You’re welcome! I’m so glad you like it. I found their site to be such a great resource.

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manda July 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I would like to can pickles!!

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Kate July 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Oh how I love pickles!

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manda July 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I like you on FB!

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Heather June 1, 2015 at 5:58 pm

I would love to can some strawberry jam, green beans, and tomatoes!

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