I have been putting off writing this recipe for soooooo long. And I don't ever want this blog to feel like a chore, it's just.... it's another sweet recipe and we all know I'm not naturally drawn to sweet things. Sweet just isn't my jam. Ha!
But anyway I am glad I finally got around to this because the result is actually pretty spectacular and I think it all comes from the choice of fruit.
I tried an apricot chia jam and whilst it was okay, the colour wasn't so vibrant and because the fruit wasn't quite juicy and ripe the flavour didn't come through at all. I think it's also because all jam I have eaten before (and probably you too!) is shop bought or home-made and laden with sugar. Naturally that makes it pretty tasty and full of flavour, even if that flavour is largely sweetener!
So I'm glad I waited to give this another go before sharing on the blog and decided to go for a classic blackberry flavour. They're a fruit that's just starting to pop out everywhere here in Ireland in the hedgerows and there's a whole bush of them out the front of our apartment block. I'm hoping the birds don't eat them all and I can get a little crop when they're ripe!
The final nudge to get this out in the inter-worldwide-web was the lovely Joanna at The Balanced Kitchen on Instagram who was running a #GreatBritishJamAwards party. She was looking for jams with a twist and did a strawberry jam with vanilla essence. I thought this was a brilliant to add a hint of another flavour, and so I went with adding almond assence to the blackberries which is a fantastic combination.
If you're looking for a healthier jam then this is absolutely for you. It's really easy to do and keeps in the fridge and I think looks and tastes like the real deal. Let me know if you make it, I'd love to know what you think.
SERVES: Makes about 2 small jars of jam
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 15 minutes + cooling c. 1hr
- 1 lb / 450g / 3.5 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup or other sweetener of choice like honey or rice malt syrup (all depends on how sweet you like your jam)
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1. In a medium-sized pan, bring the blackberries to a low boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the berries soften, about 5 minutes. Lightly mash the blackberries with a potato masher or fork, leaving some berries in chunks for texture.
2. Stir in the sweetener and chia seeds. Cook the jam on low until it thickens, stirring continuously to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
3. Remove the jam from heat and stir in the almond extract. Let jam cool to room temperature.
4. Pour the jam into a glass jar or air-tight container and store in the fridge. The jam will keep for up to 2 weeks.
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