Vanilla Bourbon Blackberry Jam

October 10, 2011

Jay loves blackberries. And the blackberries have looked great this year.

I have been wanting to make him a delicious blackberry treat for some time now. I had planned to make him some blackberry cupcakes filled with blackberry curd and topped with a lime cream cheese frosting for his birthday. Sounds awesome huh? But alas…you know that thing about plans and mice and men? Well, his birthday came and went and it didn’t happen ­čśŽ He was kind enough to give me a rain check on those cupcakes though, so I’m determined to make good on my promise. Keep your eyes peeled for ┬áthe recipe here when I finally am able to make them appear. In the meantime, I was able to make him some Vanilla Bourbon Blackberry Jam.

It has blackberries and bourbon, Jack Daniels to be specific, both things of which Jay is quite fond. And, with this jam, he will still have the fresh taste of blackberries stored away, long after their season is over. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway…You know, a good dose of justification to assuage the old guilt.

I’m happy to report Jay loves the jam. He’s been eating it on toast every morning since its creation and says its very tasty! I’ll have to take his word for it. I really don’t care for blackberries. Don’t like those crunchy seeds in them, which ironically is one of the things about them that Jay really likes. But this recipe wasn’t for me, it was for my fantastic, understanding and patient (still waiting for those cupcakes) husband. Lucky me!

Vanilla Bourbon Blackberry Jam

Recipe adapted from See Brooke Cook

yields: 2 Half Pint (8 0z) Jars


  • 1 1/2 lbs ┬áblackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice and the zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of Bourbon – I used Jack Daniels – a favourite around here!
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp butter


Wash the blackberries and toss them into a preserving pan, or any stainless steel pan you have. Lightly mash the berries with a wooden spoon to break them open, add the rest of the ingredients, but not the butter, and stir. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. Place a small plate in the freezer to test the jam’s consistency later if desired.

Fill a large pot with tap water. Submerge two 1/2 pint jars and their lids, making sure they are completely covered by the water. Boil the water.

After allowing the mixture to sit, start cooking it over medium-high heat. At this point, add the butter which will keep the mixture from frothing. The mixture will bubble vigorously. Eventually, the boil will subside to larger bubbles, but still bubble vigorously. Begin gently stirring the jam frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
After about 25 minutes you can begin testing the jam’s consistency if desired by placing a small amount on the cold plate, then allowing 30 seconds to pass. You can run your finger through it to see what the cooled consistency will be. Boil for a few minutes longer if you would like a thicker jam.

When the desired consistency is reached, ladle the jam into jars. If you’re going to gobble both jars up without delay, just place them in the refrigerator. If you would like to save one or both for later, screw rims onto jam jars. Using tongs, pick up the full jam jars and place them back into the boiling water for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, remove the jars and place them on the towel. As they cool, you should hear a ping type noise which tells you the jam jars are sealed. When you push down in the center of the top of the jar, there should be no click noise. Make sure the lids are sealed tightly. You’re done!


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