It being blackberry season I’ve been picking them everyday; the wild bushes on the edges of my backyard have grown like weeds and there are gallons of berries! After rinsing them to make sure they have no bugs (green junebugs are particuarly fond of blackberries) I let them dry and pop them in the freezer in zippy bags. And when I get enough berries? I make a batch of jam! Here’s the recipe according to me^^
9-10 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 – 2 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons no sugar required pectin
1/4 cup chocolate or other liqueur/booze. I hear brandy and gin are pretty good^^
rasberries, mulberries, blueberries. Pretty much any berry you can get your hands on.
1, Rinse the berries under cold water. Drain well and put in a crock pot with the lemon juice. Cook on low and come back in 4-6 hours. You can also do this step on the stove, but 2 hours in front of a stove vs dumping in crock pot and forgetting it? No contest for me^^
2, Put cooked berries through blender for 2-3 minutes. If you have seedless berries you can usually just dump the mixture in a cooking pan; otherwise you may want to strain the pulp to remove some/all the seeds and any large skin pieces using a mesh strainer. Wild blackberries usually have a ton of seeds, so I used a loose strainer to get most of them out. Be sure not to use too fine a strainer or you could be at this step for a year. If you strain the pulp save the stuff that doesn’t go through by freezing it in ice-trays; it makes a good natural dye, as well as a tasty drink.
3, Add 1 cup sugar, and taste the mixture. If it’s bitter add a splash more lemon juice to nutralize and then a bit more sugar. Depending on your berries you might need as much as 2 1/2 cups sugar, but remember that the jam will sweeten when cooked, so don’t over do it. You want to taste berries, not sugar syurp! You can add pectin now to speed up the jam cooking process if desired.
4, Cook on medium low for 20-30 minutes, or until jam. To test put a little in a small bowl and pop it in the refrigerator for a minute or so. When you pull it out it should be thick like molasses. Meanwhile put a pot of water on to boil and put your clean jars and lids in. Turn the pot off and put a lid on when it has started boiling.
5, When “jam-ed” pour the hot mixture into a pyrex or other glass measuring cup. This will make it easier to pour into the jars, which should be pulled out of the water pot and dried with a clean towel. Fill the jars about 1/4 of an inch from the top, or to the bottom ridge of where to screw the lid on. Wipe the rim to make sure nothing will interfere with the seal, and screw the lid on.
6, Put the sealed jars back in the pot of water and follow the jar instructions, or bring to a boil for at least 15 minutes if your jars didn’t come with directions. Pull the jars from the pot and place on counter to cool. Refrigerate any jars that didn’t seal properly after an hour or so. Makes about 1 quart of jam, which can be put in any size jars as long as they are full.
What’s your favorite kind of preserved fruit?