I pick my own berries, if you have ever picked your own black berries you`ll know that not one berry do you want to spoil! I am blessed with so many wild black berry patches here in central Alabama, they grow wild just about everywhere. I made black berry jam and black berry jelly.
You can collect the berries a little at a time till you have enough to make jam or jelly, just rinse them well and put them into the freezer till you have what you need.
First, regardless if you buy the black berries or you pick your own, you want ripe berries but not mushy. Its okay to have a few under ripe berries also.
I rinse my berries many times to make sure there are not any bugs on them and I allow them to air dry in the strainer while I prepare the canning jars and lids.
For Black Berry Jam, You`ll need :
9 cups of black berries
6 Cups of white sugar
Put black berries a large bowl and crush slightly with a potato masher.
Measure nine cups and put them into a large cooking pot, the one you intend on making the jam in, and add the sugar. Mix well.
Over medium heat cook the mixture till boiling, stirring often so not to stick and burn.
When the black berries began to get thick, remove from heat and ladle into the prepared jars leaving 1/2 headspace.
Clean the rim of the jars with a clean damp cloth. Apply the lids and bands.
In a water bath, process for 15 minutes. Let stand 5 more minutes before removing them from the water bath.
Makes 6 half pint jars.
For Black Berry Jelly, You`ll need :
4 cup of black Berry juice
7 1/2 cups of white sugar
1 Box of sure-gel fruit pectin
Prepare your jars and lids.
To make the juice after cleaning your berries with cold water, put a layer in a large cooking pot and mash with a potato masher, add another layer and do the same till you have done all the black berries. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook 10 minutes. Strain using cheese cloth, jelly bag or fine mesh strainer. Allow to cool. After cooling and allowing any sediment to go to the bottom, ladle the correct amount of juice off the top trying not to disturb the bottom sediment.
Put the juice and sugar in a large cooking pot and mixing till the sugar dissolves.
Bring mixture to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Add sure -gel and boil hard for one minute stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and skim off any foam on top.
Ladle hot jelly into jars leaving 1/4 head space. Clean rim of jars and apply the lids and bands.
In a water bath canner process for 10 minutes covered , uncover and let stand for 5 minutes before removing from canner.
Makes 8 half pints.
That is how I make blackberries jam and jelly.
By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry