A First Year Anniversary Cake (1-2-3-4 cake, lemon curd, blackberry jam, vanilla buttercream)
I baked my wedding cake last year – funny to think how it’s been an entire year already since I blackberry jammed, and baked, and wore a pretty dress, and clutched beautiful flowers, and said yes-I-will – and to mark that momentous one year wedding anniversary yesterday I baked a small version of it for us to savor, and remember. I tucked one chocolate layer cake into the towering five-tier behemoth (leftovers, leftovers, my aim was to send my guests home with leftovers) I created, but the rest were comprised of flavors simple and sweet: Yellow cake. Blackberry jam. Lemon curd. And you know, a whole year on, I still like that flavor combination and plan to repeat it every year hence, as long as I am able. (I still like my husband, too, but that, I think, was a given.)
5 cups locally-picked blackberries, rinsed free of any buggies + dust
3 cups raw sugar, plus more or less to taste
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 of a (1 3/4 ounce) package dry pectin
Place the berries and lemon juice in a large pot (about 8-quart). Turn heat to high, and add the pectin to the berries, stirring constantly. Bring mixture to a rolling boil and add the sugar. Stirring constantly, bring mixture back to a full boil; boil for one minute (or longer – you want the jam to be thick enough so it will ‘wrinkle’ on the back of a spoon).
Remove pot from heat and ladle into hot, sterilized jam jars, leaving 1/4 inch space at the top. Wipe the rim of the jar, tightly press down the lids, and clamp with metal clamps. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
Note: you may skip the pectin, but will have to cook the jam a bit longer. You may also reduce the sugar, but taste as you go as blackberries can be quite tart.