Blackberry vodka, fudge, and jelly

I love blackberry season. And oh boy, does Oregon love to grow blackberries! I fight them in my backyard all year, but once they’re ripe I have some favorite patches to raid and I will happily spend hours fighting through thorns to get buckets and buckets of them. (I’m a little sad there’s no blackberry emoji to put here.)

I love them, but even I can not eat that many blackberries before they go bad, so it’s time to preserve! First up is blackberry vodka. So yummy. So easy. So dangerous. I comes out like a slightly sweet blackberry bomb of a cordial. I like it with lime seltzer water and ice.

Recipe & instructions for blackberry vodka

Pick and rinse blackberries, discarding bad ones, leaves, bugs, etc
Take a clean 1 quart canning jar (or similar) and add:

  • Rinsed blackberries to about 3/4 of the way to the top. Just drop them in, don’t pack them down.
  • 1/3 cup of sugar (adjust more or less to taste, but this is what I use)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Fill to the top with vodka. Use the cheap stuff - you won’t be able to taste the difference later.

Screw on lid and shake to dissolve sugar
Leave on the counter or an accessible shelf for a few days so you can come back and shake to keep dissolving.
After a week or so you shouldn’t need to shake anyone.
Move jar(s) to a cool dark shelf and ignore for a few months. I usually try for 6 months, though I sometimes crack one early.
When done, open jar, strain through cheesecloth into a bottle. I reserve the blackberries, but you could toss them here.
Enjoy!

If booze isn’t your thing but you do have a sweet tooth :raising_hand_woman:, you may prefer the blackberry hot fudge. It is delicious over ice cream, but also straight out of the jar.

Recipe & instructions for blackberry hot fudge

Pick and rinse blackberries, discarding bad ones, leaves, bugs, etc
Put 2.5 - 3 lbs of blackberries in a saucepan with splash of water (to prevent scorching)
Heat over medium and squish with a masher until the blackberry skins break down (5 - 10 minutes)
Remove from heat. Strain through a sieve. Use a spatula or spoon to push through everything but the seeds - all that pulp is gold here.
Put juice & pulp in a saucepan with 1 cup of sugar and the juice of 1 lemon.
Whisk until smooth and heat until it simmers.
Lower the heat and add 12 oz of dark chocolate. Quality shows through here, so spring for the good stuff if you can.
Stir until smooth.
Remove from heat and let cool. If it’s not as thick as you wanted, return to heat and add more chocolate.
Pour into jars and either store in the fridge or process for 10 minutes in a water bath canner.

Still have more? Let’s make jelly! I do jelly instead of jam with wild blackberries because the super huge seeds kind of ruin a nice piece of toast for me.
Also, if you made vodka and strained the blackberries out, I hold onto those and use them to make blackberry vodka jelly. Really excellent in jam cookies, waffles, mixed into yogurt… You boil away almost all the alcohol, and I can barely taste it in the final product. However, there is technically a bit of alcohol still in it, so I usually don’t have it for breakfast. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Recipe & instructions for blackberry jelly

Pick and rinse blackberries, discarding bad ones, leaves, bugs, etc
Put blackberries in a saucepan with splash of water (to prevent scorching)
Heat over medium and squish with a masher until the blackberry skins break down (5 - 10 minutes)
Pour saucepan contents into a jelly bag and let drain
Measure 3 cups of juice and place in saucepan
Add 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 Tablespoons of low-sugar pectin
Bring to a boil that can’t be stirred down
Add 1 1/2 - 3 cups of sugar (I use 2 cups)
Return to boil
Do the spoon check or boil at 220 degrees for 1 minute
Spoon into jars and keep in the fridge or process 10 minutes in a water bath canner

Revel in your blackberry goodness until next summer!

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And now my summer mission is to find some brambles to get all scratched up in because every bit of that looks delightful, yum!

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Mmmm…blackberries!
Your blackberry edibles look delish :slight_smile:

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All of those look yummy! I used to fight off birds and even bears to get to the berries growing along the streams in my backyard!

My favorite was fresh berries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, with an oatmeal sugar topping…

I am definitely going to give the vodka a try…sounds like a refreshing summer drink!

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Yum!

We don’t have blackberries here, but I’ve been meaning to try preserving cactus berries. They’re blooming now…

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Ooh, that sounds tempting!

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Blackberry hot fudge… I’m tempted!!

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We have lots of blackberries on our property and I am always looking for new ways to use it. Gotta try that fudge recipe this summer, thanks!

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I love blackberries. I miss living in WA, where I could pick them every season. One year I made blackberry syrup, and we are pancakes, waffles, French toast… anything that tasted good with the syrup really… for every meal until the syrup molded. Geez, it was the best. I never learned to can, or I would have made blackberry jam/jelly. :drooling_face:

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I was intimidated by canning for a long time, but once I finally took the plunge I realized basics like jam, jelly, syrup are really easy. You don’t even need fancy equipment, just a big pot! :blush:

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I love blackberries. these all sound so good.

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You are so right! Canning seems scary but really isn’t.

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It’s a revelation once you’ve tried it. My man is stunned at how easy it is to preserve food, make pickles and jam for pennies a jar, etc. He was a bit scared of it at first because of the movie First Winter but he’s over that now :peach:

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Now my biggest problem is no space in the kitchen. None at all. So it would be too hard to try canning in this apartment. Maybe once I’m out of this lease and have more room I’ll give it a try!

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Blackberries are one of my absolute favorites! Might be a tie between them and marionberries and I don’t know if they even grow here. I remember going into the woods behind my house as a kid in the PNW and picking them to ear right there (and maybe a few made it into an old margarine container) in the summer. Sure we got scratched and gauged, but the worst were the wasps defending their nests deep in the bramble!

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Blackberry hot fudge? SHUT UP! All of of it looks and sounds amazing.

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Yeah, that one’s my favorite. No matter how many jars I make we always seem to run out…

Oh yummy! This stuff looks amazing - especially the vodka.

Maybe I will try canning this year. I already have a large stock pot and loads of blackberry brambles!

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Ooooh this brings back happy pre-teen Pacific NW memories for me! I can imagine how delicious these are.

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Can I come and live in your house

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