This was an awesome new recipe that we came up with on the spur of the moment when we were looking at the spices in the pantry. The anise adds a subtle back end to the tartness of the blackberries, and makes for a really nice spread that has proven to be popular on toast and a good pairing for different soft cheeses.


Blackberries seem to love the soil here at HollyHedge. Each year we get an incredible bounty. We end up growing so much that we can seldom use all of it in a single season. Despite the catering and breakfast kitchen using them in their seasonal salads and fresh fruit displays, we still end up freezing upwards of 20 lbs of berries each year. The frozen berries can make for an incredible addition to oatmeal in the winter, added to smoothies or sangria – but we love to use them to make jam most of all.

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This recipe, like most of our jams uses a lower amount of sugar and no pectin – which means that we often have to cook it for longer to get it to set. This recipe is particularly notable for hints of anise and orange in addition to the natural sweetness and tartness of the blackberries.


  • 132 oz. of Blackberries (Frozen)
  • 1 Orange (Zested and Juiced)
  • 2 Star Anise (Whole)
  • 4 Cups of Granulated Sugar


Combine the orange juice and blackberries in a large, deep pot and place over a high heat. After a little while (timers aren’t really our thing), the berries will begin to breakdown and give off their liquid. Because blackberries have so many seeds, they can be hard for many people to digest. We use a mill to process the berries as much as possible. That means putting the entire batch of jam through the mill at least two times. We ladle the solids from the batch and place into the hand mill. Save the solids after your done milling, we’re going to put those through the mill a second time.












After you’ve milled everything and you have what looks like a pretty clean, liquid batch of jam in the pot, you’re ready to add the flavoring. We added the zest of an orange and two whole star anise. Let the batch of jam continue to cook, and bring it to a boil. We find that the back of the spoon trick is the best for figuring out when the jam is done.  Variables like humidity or elevation can affect the jam – so we don’t like to go based on just temperature alone or the frozen plate technique. We’ve been getting consistent results with the spoon. Using a clean spoon, dip into the center of the jam and give a slight swirl and remove from the jam. If the jam drips off the spoon in droplets, then continue to cook. When the jam drops off the spoon in sheets and seems to stick to itself, then you can remove from the heat and begin jarring the jam.


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