A three way of heart-capturing ingredients united into one delicious preserve. That would be this jam's movie tagline.
Part One: Blackberries
Stumbling upon a blackberry bush and plucking the ripe fruit feels like finding hidden treasure to me. Ooh la la! Blackberries are simple yet elegant–sweet with a hint of tartness. The tiny explosions from each round morsel of every berry are my favourite. As fresh as the day, they are perfect raw but even more flavourful when cooked. The blue-red juices are a passionate and violent colour and their thorny brambles radiate a forbidden appeal. In the same botanical family as the rose, it is no wonder I find this fruit sensuous and desirable.
Part Two: Maple Syrup
Maple speaks deeply and with weight, like a rich bassline. A Louis Armstrong or James Earl Jones of flavours, it’s grounding. Powerful and bold on it’s own but when paired with lighter elements like fruit or cream, it harmonizes into an elegant chord.
The process of making maple syrup was originated by the First Nations people who used it for food and as well as medicine. It is an age-old tradition of Canada and is literally set into the roots of this country.
Maple syrup farms are a childhood pastime for many here. In March you can wander through forests of maple trees with taps and metal pales hanging from them. Watch maple sap drip from the trunks, put your finger under and taste it straight from the source. Much lighter than it’s condensed future self, it is easily drinkable with a fresh taste. The sugar house is where the sap is boiled down into the sweeter denser syrup we know and love. Of course pancakes are served at the end of the journey, usually in a wooden lodge where you can load up with fresh maple syrup and purchase way too many maple candies. Bordering on overly sweet, I regret every maple candy after the first one. That is enough.
Part Three: Bourbon
Bourbon has heart. Bourbon has soul. Bourbon’s got the blues.
It’s intriguing and dangerous as the best things always are. There’s a fine line between it’s warmth and darkness and it holds many names including hedonist, thrill seeker, instigator, charmer and a brute. I have a respect for bourbon, as well as a cautiousness around it’s whirlwind of pleasure and menace.
The taste of straight bourbon is not always my favourite but I most certainly love the way it can make you feel. It whispers in your ear that you're the most wonderful dancer! Your magnetism is undeniable! You're most definitely hilarious! And always right! About everything ever! These “truths” told by bourbon don’t always seem completely accurate the next morning while laying in bed, hoping you managed to hold onto a sliver of grace throughout the night. Or maybe that's just me...
These three enchanting parts are combined to create...
It’s just jam.
Maybe that was a bit dramatic, but in my defence the word jam doesn’t do this jam (or any) justice. I mean, come on, it rhymes with ham. And yam. (I love both, but still.) And flim flam. What does flim flam even mean?!
(I just googled “what does flim flam mean” and here’s what is says:
“nonsensical or insincere talk.”, then gives it context in this sentence,
“I suppose that you suspect me of pseudointellectual flimflam.”)
Uhhhhh what. in. the. f*$k did I get myself into here?!
So, apparently it’s one word and now I have to google what pseudointellectual means.
I shouldn’t have said anything, I would have seemed way smarter to youse guyses.
... the bourbon is clearly having it's way with me.
Guys, don't drink too much bourbon during jam making. Jam casualty is a real thing and it's very very serious. Wait until after when you can write a blog post and truly embarrass yourself. That's way more fun and your jam will still taste good.
But seriously, this jam really is delicious and full of flavour.
(Above) a scene from Macbeth starring toasts.
When all else fails, everything is good in whipped cream. And whipped cream is good for you.
Well, it's not really. But it could be. If there was no dairy. And no fat. So that apparently leaves us with... (I'm reading the back of a cream carton right now), carrageenan and polysorbate 80–neither of which sound good, I'm not even going to bother googling those so let's take those out too. Ta da! We are left with air. And air is definitely good for you. Therefore whipped cream is good for you.
You're probably really happy you stayed for this lesson in logic and food nutrition.
Now go eat all the jam and cream you like.
BLACKBERRY MAPLE BOURBON JAM
t h e m a g i c
i n s p i r a t i o n : a sick obsession with maple syrup + my grandma (shoutout to all grannies!)
f e e l s : soft & elegant. rare & exclusive, as if brought over seas by a ship carrying spices and rugs.
e a t w i t h : biscuits! (you need these in your life), crumpets, scones, toasts of all kinds!, butter, between cake layers or cookies, folded into frosting, puff pastry, oatmeal, pancakes, french toast, yogurt, whipped cream, on top of ice-cream, in a cocktail (as a substitute for simple syrup), an old fashioned.
m i g h t l i k e i f y o u ' r e i n t o : cottages, picnics, natural fabric dyes, fake blood, amorous hues, horror movies, Macbeth, garnets & rubies, all things booze infused.
t h e s c i e n c e
time: a few hours
i n g r e d i e n t s :
- 454 g blackberries
- 1/2 cup Canadian maple syrup (I used # 2 amber, but you can use any. #2 maple syrups have a stronger maple flavour. Look here to learn about grading).
- 1 tbsp bourbon
- 1 tsp natural vanilla
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- The tip of 1 lemon (about one inch)
m e t h o d :
- Put blackberries, maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and lemon juice into a pot and mix until combined.
- Take a fork and mash the mixture.
- Add the lemon tip to the pot and let sit for a few hours to macerate.
- While the fruit mixture sits, put a few spoons into the freezer to test the jam later on.
- Heat the fruit mixture on medium until it comes to a gentle boil.
- Cook jam for 10-15 minutes. Check if the jam has set by stirring a frozen spoon through the jam and hold it above the pot. If the jam is thick and doesn't run off the back of the spoon easily, then it is done.
- Let cool and place into jar(s).
*Will keep for up to a few weeks in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from Honestly Yum