Curious canning newbie: “What are you up tonight?”
Me: “Canning jam. You?”
Curious canning newbie: “Ha, aren’t you the party animal…”
Me: “You know me, wild Friday night. Want to get weird and come over to learn how to can?”
Curious canning newbie: “OMG that sounds amazing, I’ll bring the wine!!”
Don’t you just love it when others are equally excited about your nerdy hobby as you are?!? Last night a couple of friends joined me at my place for an impromptu canning demo. Completely as expected, chaos ensued and the story involved an emergency dash to the neighbors to borrow a whisk, one too many glasses or wine/cider, and magenta jam all over my tiny kitchen. I decided to revisit the idea of using beer as a jam base and this time employed Earth Eagle Brewings‘ Barelyberry pilsen gruit saison. EEB’s Barelyberry is an ale brewed with labrador tea, sage, yarrow and blackberries. Light fruit character throughout with a refreshing spice and faint blackberry finish. I hadn’t planned on adding anything other than pectin, sugar and lemon juice to the ale based jam, but after further thought and MANY taste tests 🙂 , I decided to go ahead and throw in some fresh blackberries to boost that “faint blackberry finish”. If you have any issues tracking down a berry gruit, just substitute in any other berry ale of your choosing.
Recently I’ve been considering my options for expanding Putting Up with Erin into my community. So far that list includes: (1) working as the resident pickler at a local cafe, (2) collaborating with farmers in the area, (3) slinging my wares at restaurants and boutique markets, (4) starting a local food swap scene and (5) having canning/pickling demos and workshops in and around Portsmouth. The first three options would require renting and putting up goods in a FDA approved commercial kitchen space, while the other two would not. On one hand the certified kitchen route would allow me to start legitimately selling my goods, on the other, it would run the risk of turning my hobby into a job and honestly I’ve grown to really enjoy trading and gifting my canned goods to friends, family and farmers alike. Anyways enough talk for today, here’s the recipe!
- 4 cups berry ale
- 3-1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 package powdered pectin
- 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups fresh blackberries (cut in half)
- In a large sized, non-ionized pot combine beer, lemon juice, and pectin. Bring to a boil.
- Add sugar. Stirring constantly, bring to a rapid boil for 5ish minutes. Add berries. Return to boil for an additional 2-4 minutes.
- Perform the plate test to determine set.
- Ladle jam into hot sterilized jelly jars leaving approx. 1/4 inch headspace.
- Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight), then process jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars from canner and let set on a folded towel for 12-24hrs or until sealed and set.