blackberry-limoncello jam – still wild at heart

” The sweetness of the blackberries revealed itself incompletely, changing and deepening until it dissolved from the back of the tongue with the maddening hint of a greater remainder. He was left with a question he could not phrase, and a galaxy of tiny seeds that tantalized the tongue. – Author: Chris Cleave

Hi there,

The other day I stopped at the farmer’s market. They were selling the most beautiful pints of blackberries. I suddenly remembered myself at 10 and back in my childhood home.

One of my childhood responsibilities was to go to the local grocer and buy Lebanon baloney and Fleichman’s white bread for lunch. (No worries about cholesterol back in the day.) I did this just about every 3 days. The path from my home to the grocer we nicknamed the Indian path.

In the summer, the path was filled with the noise of insects and butterflies winging about. It was just an earth trodden path through an overgrowth of trees and bushes. But some of those bushes were blackberry bushes. Those blackberries, eaten off the vine, after fighting off the bees, were a free and sweet treat. When the bushes became heavily laden with fruit, I picked the berries and brought them home to be made into jam. Jam, which again, was a taste of summer during the harsh winter months.

Purple as tulips in May, mauve into lush velvet, purple as the stain blackberries leave on the lips, on the hands, the purple of ripe grapes sunlit and warm as flesh.
Marge Piercy


  • 3 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Limoncello
  • 2 teaspoons dried lemon-thyme (or 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme with 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest)


  1. Combine blackberries, sugar, Limoncello, thyme and zest in a medium heavy saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the blackberries begin to soften a little.
  3. Use a wooden spoon or a potato masher to break up the fruit.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 30 minutes.
  5. The jam won’t be as firm as you think it should be but it will definitely firm up once it cools down.

Special Note: This jam, in addition to being great in the morning over toast, is also delicious over yogurt or over prima donna cheese for an appetizer.

I recently gave a jar of this jam to my friend, Terrie, at http://www.comfortdujour who came up with a delicious pastry using the jam. If you get a chance, check it out “Easy Puff Pastry Pinwheels”.

Talk soon, ❤️💕 Bernadette

26 responses to “blackberry-limoncello jam – still wild at heart”

  1. I have many childhood memories attached to blackberries, and adult ones attached to limoncello, which I make most years. We lived across from a large sandbank that was rimmed with brambles, and my brothers and I would go out every morning and pick (and eat) as many as possible. Mom made pies and muffins with them, and always large batches of blackberry jam that lasted all year. I still make the jam as well, and that first taste brings me back to my mother’s kitchen.
    Of course, adding limoncello is gilding that beautiful lily!

  2. My sister and I also picked blackberries each summer from a sloped hill at the base of railroad tracks. Ate them straight away, and then chased the mosquito trucks. Yes, we are lucky to be alive!
    Love your blog Bern.

    • OMG – I forgot about the sickly sweet smell of the mosquito trucks. The kids all hopped on their bikes and vied to see who could get closest. Yup, we are lucky to be alive and have our friendship💕

  3. That reminds me. I’ve not been out collecting blackberries this year. I never buy them when I can get them for free and freeze them.
    I must get on with it before they’re all gone and have a go at this recipe? Sounds yummy.

  4. MMM, and now I’m thinking it would also be delicious on top of ice cream! I’m certainly enjoying the jam you gifted me, Bernadette, and I loved the sweet memories of childhood summers and berry picking. 🙂

  5. Nothing like BlackBerry jam or blackberry anything. We used to pick them when we lived in Vancouver. They froze well too so I could make up a batch of blackberry muffins anytime during the winter. The limoncello would make it even better.

  6. I love the idea of putting it over yogurt! I want to scoop my finger in it right from here!!! I just finished my day of blueberry picking. I have to pick them every other day.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

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