I love a good marshmallow – especially when you’re talking about soft, fluffy homemade marshmallows. I’ll eat them straight out of the pan after they’ve set up, and I find that I make hot chocolate a lot more often when I have a fresh batch on hand. I typically flavor my homemade marshmallows with vanilla beans or vanilla extract, but vanilla marshmallows can be a little bit boring after a while, even for a marshmallow-lover. These homemade Blackberry Marshmallows are definitely not boring and they are perfect for springtime. They’re made with fresh blackberries and infuse their juicy berry flavor into every bite of marshmallow.
Fresh blackberry puree is the base of the marshmallow recipe and it adds a great flavor without altering the texture of the finished marshmallows. They’re light and fluffy, but have plenty of blackberry flavor. They’re not overly sweet – though they are still marshmallows – and the sugar of the marshmallows serves to bring the flavor of the blackberries to the forefront of the candies. The marshmallow ends up being lovely violet color when it is finished, though it is dulled a little bit when the marshmallows are dusted with confectioners’ sugar to prevent them from sticking together before serving them. They’re still a beautiful color and they will definitely stand apart from any other marshmallows out there!
You’ll need about 2 cups of blackberries (12-16 oz) to make the puree you need for these marshmallows. You need to strain them, then strain them again after they are pureed to get out all the seeds and bits of pulp from the berries. Blackberries seem to be mostly pulp (as you’ll discover when you strain them!), but the resulting puree is flavorful and it’s worth a little extra effort. If you happen to have a very well-stocked restaurant supply store in your area, you might be able to buy frozen blackberry puree that you can also use. Frozen blackberries can be used, but they must be completely defrosted and drained before using, since any water can dilute the puree. I like to add a little blackberry liqueur to boost the blackberry flavor even more. The liqueur is optional if you don’t have any on hand and you can omit it, but it is nice to add it if you can (and it makes a good springtime cocktail addition, too).
Since the marshmallows are made with fresh fruit, they won’t have as long of a shelf life as plain marshmallows. These are best eaten within 1-2 weeks of making them, and they should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. You can eat them as-is, dip them in chocolate or melt them in between graham crackers for a twist on the flavors of a classic s’more.
.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 cup (4-oz) blackberry puree, strained through a fine sieve
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon blackberry liqueur (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
Line 9 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over blackberry puree and stir to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow the gelatin to absorb the moisture from the puree.
Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute.
Pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add in the blackberry liqueur (if using) and the vanilla extract and beat until completely incorporated, about 1 minute.
Scrape marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly (Lightly greasing your hands and the spatula helps a lot here). Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.
In a shallow dish, sift together cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and cut into equal pieces with lightly greased scissors or a marshmallow cutter. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 48 marshmallows