Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Picking Blackberries For Jelly
To make the jelly, I start by heating the water in the canner, so it will be ready when the jelly jars are. I put the juice in a medium stockpot, add the juice of two lemons, which is about a half cup of lemon juice, and two boxes of pectin. Once this comes to a boil and the pectin is all dissolved, I add 9 cups of sugar. That sounds like a lot of sugar, but it helps create an acid environment to preserve the fruit.
Once all the sugar dissolves and the jelly returns to a boil, I turn off the heat for a few minutes for the foam to come to the top. I skim off the foam and put the hot jelly into hot clean canning jars with a small ladle. I wipe off the top of each jar to clean of any drips, otherwise the lid won't completely seal. I dip each metal lid in the boiling hot water in the canner for a few seconds and place on top of the jars, followed by the bands. I put each jar on the rack in the canner which is 2/3 full of boiling hot water. I let the jars boil for 15 minutes, and then lift them out with special tongs made for canning jars.
This recipe makes 6 pint jars of jelly, so after three rounds of picking blackberries, I'll have 18 pint jars of jelly to either sell at the farmers market, or give as gifts. I think this is a pretty good yield starting from six canes this year.