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Archive for June, 2010

It’s HOT and we need a pool…. or just good ol’ fashioned redneck airconditioning 😉

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Ok… here’s some more about blackberries. We went berry picking (again) yesterday evening and got enough to make my very first batch of blackberry jam.

I’ve been reading about making soft spread jams without pectin and was anxious to try this out. As one of our new friends here says… I made it the “old fashioned way”.

Recipe:

9 cups blackberries

6 cups sugar

We purposely picked some less ripe berries (about 10% of the total amount) because they’re supposed to have more natural pectin.

After assembling my canning equipment, I crushed the berries in a large bowl with a potato masher. Then I put them in a large sauce pan over medium heat and started adding in the sugar. As I said in yesterday’s post, we don’t like things super sweet so I a

ctually only used 5 cups of sugar.

I cooked the berry mixture for quite a while in order to get it to the “gel stage”. Ok…. I admit it, it was getting late and getting dark and I was having a hard time telling if I had indeed reached the “gel stage” but I said the heck with it… I’m canning it up anyway.

We think that a lot of the commercially produced jams and jellies are almost too hard to spread so it’ll be ok if our homemade jam is a bit softer. If it’s too soft then we can always use it on pancakes or waffles…. RIGHT?

Luckily, I’m thinking it’ll be ok. The little bit left in the pan thickened up nicely after it cooled off.

We’ll let you know how it turns out when we open the first jar 😉


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Yum! Yum! The wild blackberries here on the homestead are finally getting ripe. Hubby and I went berry pickin’ and got enough to make our favorite cobbler recipe. It’s more of a “quick” cobbler recipe rather than a traditional one. We really like this because it’s quick and easy!


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Just in case you don’t have wild blackberries growing in your back yard, it also works well with frozen berries (drained) or canned pie filling. Don’t forget to check out your local Farmers’ Market for fresh fruit that’s in season.

We’ve cooked this cobbler with cherry pie filling and frozen berries but this was the first time we got to use fresh blackberries! I think it would also be good with apple pie filling 😉

Ingredients:

Batter:
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Cinnamon – optional
1 cup milk
½ tsp. Vanilla extract

Filling:
2 to 2 ½ cups berries or 1 regular size can pie filling.
Note: If you’re using fresh berries (cherries, apples, or peaches) you’ll probably want to add ½ to ¾ cup of sugar to them depending on how sweet you like them. We don’t like our cobbler super sweet so we try to add as small amount of sugar as we can. You’ll have to experiment with the recipe until you find out what works best for you.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350º.
Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
Add milk and vanilla and stir into a batter.
Mix fresh berries or fruit and sugar in a separate bowl. Be sure to test for sweetness. If you’re using canned pie filling you don’t need to add any more sugar.
Melt butter in the bottom of an 8” dutch oven (DO) or a 2 quart casserole dish.
Pour batter into DO or casserole dish.
Spoon filling evenly on top of the batter WITHOUT MIXING.
Bake at 350º for approximately 30 minutes. The batter will expand up and around the berries, fruit, or filling. Bake until golden brown.

Let cool to room temperature… if you can wait that long. Goes down well with a big scoop of ice cream on top!


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Makes 4 – 6 servings depending on how big of a pig you are! Oops… I meant to say how hungry you are 😉

Got any other good recipes to share? Bring ’em on!

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