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Blackberry Habanero Hot Waldo Recipe

For Hot Waldo you're going to need some blackberries, and some peppers. If you really want it to be Hot Waldo, though, you have to use Waldo blackberries, which Johnsons sells at their farm, farmstand and at the farmer's market, but to be totally honest I think you should go and pick half a flat of blackberries out of your neighbor's front yard or the unused city lot down the street, because they're free, and for real? I don't think I've ever purchased a blackberry that tasted as good as the ubiquitous weedy ones that are out there busily destroying native ecosystems.

Anyway: half a flat, or about 8 cups, and somewhere between 2 and 4 hot peppers, like Jalepeno. I used three Serranos.

 

You don't have to separate the seeds out, but I did so I would have more control over the heat. I ended up bunging the whole lot in anyway, and it was perfect. One brief note here: watch it with the peppers. I didn't wear gloves while working with these, and I ended up with a really uncomfortable burn on two of my fingers from the capsaicin. I also knew these were roughly jalepeno-hot, and I know how much jalepeno I can use without going overboard. If you're going to go straight for the habaneros, or the Guatemalan Insanity Peppers, take it easy and use common sense: you want to be able to eat the jam, not use it to assassinate heads of state. And maybe consider wearing gloves while chopping.

 

I should also add that if you're going to process your jam jars for storage rather than putting them in your fridge and using them within a few weeks, you want your clean jars in the hot water bath and your lids warming and all that before you really get going with the jam recipe. Everything I say here is going to assume canning experience, or access to a friend who has experience, or a library card.

So. Mince your peppers, throw 'em in the pot with the 8 or so cups of fresh berries, and cook them down until it's a bubbling slurry.

At this point, you have two options:

1)Proceed to jam-making

2)Get the seeds out

I chose Option 2, and used a food mill to squoosh out the good stuff and leave the bajeeeeeellion seeds and pulpy bits for something else. When I did so, I ended up with 5 cups to use for jam, and about 1 cup of remainders. 

From this point, you're going to make jam just like you'd normally do. I used 5 TBS of Ball low sugar pectin and about 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of honey. 

 

When your jam is gelling, get yer jars and lids out and ready. Take a blurry photo in your unbelievably dark kitchen while you ladle the hot jam into the jars.

 

I got 5 half pint jars out of the recipe. Process them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Let them rest for a couple minutes, then place them out of the way to cool.

Back to the blackberry seeds and pulp:

 

Throw it all in a quart jar, and fill the jar with vinegar. I used white vinegar because I have about three gallons of it in my kitchen right now. I didn't do anything fancy, I'm just leaving the jar at room temperature until I think to strain it. You could probably get more than one run of vinegar out the the pulp, too.

Hot blackberry vinegar makes rockin' salad dressing.

 

Homemade chicken salad, with roasted chicken, chopped chard stems, chopped cucumber, mayo and whatnot, and strips of fresh basil, over Romaine and drizzled with a mix of the blackberry vinegar, olive oil, and a splash of pure maple syrup. You could also use the berry vinegar mixed with olive oil for dipping warm crusty bread at the table. Nom nom.

Hot Waldo is CRAZY good spread on savory sandwiches, like the chicken salad above, or just turkey? Heck yeah. It would also make a nice glaze for cooked meats, tofu, tempeh or vegetables.

Source: http://terribleperfect.typepad.com/terribleperfect/2011/08/hot-waldo.html

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