Blackberry Chipotle Jam

September 28th, 2009
by: Blue

Read my jelly tips here.

4 cups prepared fruit (buy about 2 qt. fully ripe blackberries, preferably fresh)
3 Chipotle peppers
7 cups  sugar, measured into separate bowl
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
1 pouch  CERTO liquid fruit pectin
9 8-oz jelly jars
9 jar screw bands and flat lids
1 gallon pitcher

Prepare the fruit:  I usually prep the fruit ahead of time. Crush blackberries thoroughly, one layer at a time.  Press half of the pulp through a sieve to remove some of the seeds, if desired. Me? I like the seeds, I never sieve them out. Process chipotle peppers in food processor and add to blackberries.  Measure exactly 4 cups prepared fruit into 6 or 8 quart saucepot and set aside (if preparing the fruit ahead of time I place the measured 4 cups of fruit into a ziploc baggie to store it until I am ready to make the jelly).

Prepare the jars:  This recipe will usually make 8 8-oz jars of jelly, but I always prepare one extra jar.  So, wash 9  jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water and dry completely.  Line jars up side by side, very close to each other, and very close to the  edge of the counter.  This positioning will assist you when pouring the jelly from the gallon pitcher.  Bring about 3 cups of water to boil. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use.  Place gallon pitcher in sink (when you pour the jelly in it, if any spills it will be in the sink and not on your counter or floor).

Make the jelly:  Place pot with fruit inside on stovetop and turn burner on high.  Add sugar to pot; stir. Add butter to reduce foaming. Stir constantly.  Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.  It’s important enough to repeat twice, stir constantly (actually that’s the third time, I bet you get it now).  Stir in liquid pectin. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly (fourth time!). Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

Fill the jars and seal:  This is the part where you need to work quickly, prepare yourself.  Pour jelly into the gallon pitcher; and immediately pour into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. If needed wipe jar rims and threads.  I don’t usually have to wipe anything because pouring the jelly from a pitcher is quite neat. Cover the jars with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly! Place jars upside down on counter, and leave them for around 10 minutes. Turn the jars back upright and leave them to cool down and seal.  As the lids cool you’ll start to hear them POP! as they seal.  I love this sound.  When they are completely cool press down on the middle of the dome lids to make sure that they are properly sealed. If the lid springs back it is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.


March 23rd, 2009
by: Blue

In my kitchen sofrito makes its way into everything from rice to soup to beans to salsa to casseroles…the list is endless. Not only that, it freezes beautifully, so in a few minutes you can make enough sofrito to use in multiple dishes. Search for “sofrito” on this site for other recipes containing this delectable concoction!

2 medium onions, cut into large chunks
5-6 bell peppers, cored and seeded, cut into large chunks
16 to 20 cloves garlic, peeled
3 to 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks, or 1 can diced tomatoes
2 bunches cilantro, washed

Throw everything into a food processor and process until smooth (I don’t even remove the stalks from the cilantro). The sofrito will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but I like to freeze it in 1/2 cup portions in those little ziploc snack bags – that way it is always ready for me to use whenever I want it – and I want it often!