Sweet, tart, and a little bit boozy, this Small Batch Mixed Berry Bourbon Jam is a delicious way to elevate your pantry and brunch spread with something special.
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One of my major food goals this summer was to make a really delicious berry jam. I love mixed berry jams, and usually go to them first if I need to buy something store-bought, but for what ever reason never made one myself. Inspired by the typical flavors found in one of my favorite cocktails, a traditional Bourbon Smash (fruit, lime juice, bourbon, and simple syrup), I set to work. After several batches and some experimentation, I finally found what I think is the perfect balance of blackberries and strawberries. The result is this simple recipe for Small Batch Mixed Berry Bourbon Jam.
Small Batch Mixed Berry Bourbon Jam
Mixed Berry Bourbon Jam is extremely versatile – not only does it taste delicious with a creamy mild brie or sandwiched between shortbread cookies, it’s the perfect way to elevate your otherwise homely peanut butter and jelly sandwich to something a little extra special.
Oh, and just so you know – this jam is also utterly divine in a Bourbon Smash itself! Just use my recipe for a Sweet Cherry Bourbon Smash and substitute about two teaspoons of Mixed Berry Bourbon Jam for the fresh cherries. It’s a fantastic way to use up those last little bits at the bottom of a jar!
I know berry season is just about over (if not passed depending on where you are), but hopefully you can still find a couple pints before the cold weather really hits. While this recipe uses equal parts blackberries and strawberries, feel free to substitute some raspberries for some blackberries if you want. Play around with what you can find and make yourself something delicious. I promise jars of this Mixed Berry Bourbon Jam will make great gifts come the holidays, if you can spare any to share.
Small Batch Mixed Berry Bourbon Jam
Yields about 4 half pints
- 1 lb blackberries
- 1 lb strawberries
- 1 lb granulated sugar (about 2 cups)
- 2 Tbsp bottled lime juice
- 2 oz bourbon
- First, prepare your jars and lids as per proper canning procedures.
- Combine berries and sugar in low bowl and mash them together with a potato masher. Let the mixture sit a few minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and everything is syrupy. Scrape the fruit-sugar mixture into your preserving pot over medium high heat. Add the lime juice, and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the jam has reached its setting point.
- Remove from heat, add the bourbon, and check for set a second time. If still too runny, return to heat and boil for another 5-10 minutes, before removing from heat and testing again.
- Using proper canning procedures, pour the finished jam into prepared jars leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles with a chopstick or bubbler. Wipe the rims clean, apply the lids, and tighten the rings to finger-tip tightness. Process for 10 minutes in a water bath canner to seal.
- Once processed, set the jars on a folded kitchen towel and let them rest undisturbed for 24 hours. Properly sealed jars will keep for up to one year in a cool dark place; any that have not sealed should be put in the fridge and eaten first.
Looking for some more late summer canning recipes? It’s not too late to make a batch of Honey Rum Strawberry Jam and, with peppers coming into season, it’s just the right time to whip up one of my year-round staples – Candied Jalapeno Slices.
New to preserving? Here are some great resources to get you started:
- A couple of my favorite books:
- Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round & Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces, both by Marisa McClellan
- Saving the Season by Kevin West
- Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry
- A simple Home Preserving Kit
- A Large Non-Reactive Pot, like an enameled Dutch Oven (Le Creuset and Lodge both offer options) or a stainless steel jam pot.
- A pot for processing the jars in a water bath – you can use a true water bath canner and rack, or if you’re like me, your largest stainless steel stock pot with a handy blossom trivet in the bottom.