VERY BERRY JAM
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This jam is inspired from the kisan’s berry blast jam. Its the season of berries everwhere, but we don’t get those fancy blue/blackberries here. We do get some very flavourful jamuns ( black plums ) during monsoons which we love to gorge upon. So when I chanced upon two tangy (read unflavorful ) packets of blackberry and blueberry from Godrej nature’s basket on my visit to banglore, I decided to make a ‘very berry jam’ and a cheesecake using the same. To enhance the flavour, I added some black grapes. I used agar-agar (vegeterian gelatin) to thicken the jam and got a chunky thick spreadable jam . I never experimented with agar agar in jams before, and when I read about it, I was pleasantly surpised at its versatile uses. I plan to make this more frequently using other seasonal fruits, as I do have a good stock of agar agar.
Recipe for Very Berry Jam:
- Clean, sterilize and dry 250 gram glass bottle, with a fitting lid.
- Soak agar agar powder in 1/4 cup water. If using agar agar flakes use approximately 2 tablepsoons of crushed flakes.
- Wash and clean all the berries, cut and de-seed grapes.
- Add all the berries into a thick bottomed wide saucepan. You can coarsely blend the fruits to get a chunky puree and then add it to the pan.
- Add water and sugar, boil the berries till the sugar dissolves, stirring in between.
- Once the sugar dissolves, add the soaked agar water into the pan, mix well.
- Keep cooking the mixture in medium-high flame,do not lower the flame. Keep stirring intermittently.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile keep a steel plate in freezer.
- At the end of 20-25 minute period, drop small amount of jam onto the cold plate. Once the mixture cools, make a streak with your finger. If the surface of the jam appears wrinkled with a clear zone in the middle then your jam is ready. If there is still some water left and the jam isn’t thick, then it will not show any wrinkled surface, continue keep boling for few more minutes and check again.
- Once done and slightly cooled, transfer it to the sterilized jar, close the lid.
- This jam should stay well for 1 to 2 months in refrigerator.