Fun with Blackberries

We've become quite the foragers because we spend so much time outdoors these days and because of this, we've noticed that we have a ton of blackberries growing in our yard! We decided to try out our strawberry jam recipe but substitute wild blackberries as the fruit. We also threw in some store bought raspberries because Fi isn't a huge fan of blackberries usually. Y'all....the jam was AMAZING! It is now Fi's favorite jam that we've made! We then took it a step further and made cookies with our jam called oatmeal jammys which basically knocked our socks off because they were so delicious! We then rounded out the day with a kid friendly Blackberry Mojito! Yum!


To make Berry Jam you'll need:

Blackberries and raspberries- 4 cups

Sugar- 1 1/3 cups (we used a 3:1 ratio but you may prefer more or less sugar)

Lemon Juice- 4 tbsp (We use lemon juice instead of pectin which leads to shorter shelf life although blackberries are high in natural pectin.)

Jars- to store jam

Adult Supervision



1. Forage for 4 cups of blackberries and raspberries in your yard or purchase them.



2. Rinse them and put them in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and add sugar and lemon to pan on med-low heat until all the sugar has melted.



3. Increase heat to med-high and bring mixture to a rolling boil.



4. Stir frequently and mash the berries as you stir as mix continues to boil for around 10 minutes. Bubbles will cover the surface and the mixture will begin to gel a little when it is ready.

5. Carefully pour jam into jars and leave open to cool and reach room temperature before putting lid on and putting in the refrigerator. The jam will last about 7-10 days when refrigerated or a couple of months if you freeze it.




Next we used our cooled jam to make Oatmeal Jam Cookies although you can just use store bought if you'd prefer. Make sure to use jam and not jelly because the thinner jelly may burn in the oven.

You'll need:

All Purpose Flour- 2 cups

Old Fashioned Oats- 1 1/2 cups

Granulated Sugar- Light Brown Sugar- 1/4 cup

Baking Powder- 1/2 tsp

Salt- 1/2 tsp

Unsalted Butter- 18 tbs (yes, you read that right. Two sticks plus two more tbs) melted and slightly cooled.

Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp

Jam- 12 oz blackberry or assorted flavors

Cooking spray

Muffin Pan



You'll start by:

1. Preheating the oven to 350F.

2. Lightly spray a regular size 12-well muffin pan with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, oats, sugars, baking powder and salt until blended. Add the butter and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture becomes a crumbly dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed to help it combine. Some of it will seem dry - that's okay.

4. Transfer the cookie dough to a large bowl and stir to combine. The dry crumbs in the bottom will be used for the streusel so no worries if it all won’t stick together.



5. Scoop out a level, slightly packed small cookie scoop full of dough (1 tablespoon) and drop into one of the muffin tin wells. Using your fingers lightly press the dough into the bottom of the pan making sure it is level.



6. Dollop one full teaspoon of jam into the center of the cookie base in the muffin tin. Using a small spoon scatter crumbled dough around the outside edges of the cookie surrounding the jam. Press very lightly if needed to hold it together.



7. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the jam is bubbling and the cookie is lightly browned on the edges. Do not over-bake! Allow the cookies to cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. To remove the cookie from the muffin tin use a small rubber spatula to tilt the cookie up. If it starts to crumble, let it cool a little longer. Once cooled, store at room temperature in an airtight container. Cookies will keep for up to 5 days.





Kid Friendly Blackberry Mojito


You'll need:

Blackberries- 6 or 7 and one for garnish

Lime- cut into wedges and add 3-4 per drink

Sugar- 1 tbsp (but can add more to your liking or leave out entirely if using sprite)

Mint- 6 leaves

Club Soda or Sprite

Ice

Muddler

Glass

Reusable Straw

1. Add sugar, mint leaves, blackberries, and lime to glass and muddle all together.

2. Add ice cubes.

3. Pour Club Soda into glass and then stir. If you use sprite you won't need sugar at the beginning.

4. Done! It's that easy!




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