Monday, February 7, 2011

Blackberry jelly making

It is blackberry season here. We are lucky to have an enormous supply of these growing in our 'back yard' at the foot of the forest behind the park we live next to. We have collected a few containers so far. They taste delicious on breakfast cereal just as they are, but many have quite hard seeds in them so I thought I would try jelly-making.

One fresh lot, one frozen, and a frozen juice collected from a tin of black doris plums - 

into the pot, a boil to soften the fruit and extract the juice...

strain away the pulp and seeds in a seive, add the sugar, dissolve it, then back on the stove for a quick boil to 'setting stage'.

I used my instinct to find the setting stage as I don't have a thermometer (but if you do it is 105 C) and I tried small amounts on a cold plate for sticking and wrinkling...

but the best guide I found was listening to it. The mixture quite suddenly takes on a change in sound in the way the bubbles become sticky rather than runny and that's when you know to take it off the heat.

It didn't quite fill two jars like I had hoped.

It set on cooling.

The good old Edmonds cook book had some great hints and following this page are some recipes with varying amounts and types of fruit and sugar.

For my blackberry and plum jelly I used:

  • 3 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup plum juice
  • 1 cup sugar (added only once strained through seive)
  • a wooden spoon (don't ask me why but it has to be wooden)
  • a stainless steel soup pot (the old aluminium ones apparently leech toxins)

all in all it took less than an hour to make, perhaps only 30 minutes.

So we're eating it on toast, in yoghurt, and on breakfast cereal. Yum! 

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