The other day I got all dressed up to go Blackberry picking at Barden Family Orchards in Scituate, Rhode Island. It was great. There weren’t many people out picking and it made for a great socially distant activity. Blackberry picking is 50 percent picking and 50 percent eating blackberries until you get sick (literally) of eating them. I was able to pick about 4 cups worth of blackberries before I stuffed myself full to the breaking point.
So often I will pick berries and – I am ashamed to say, many of them used to go to waste. This year, not a single one has gone unused. Cakes, jams, jellies – whatever I needed to make to use them up. It has happened.
I really thought about turning these berries into a cake but the seeds were too much for me and I knew they had to be removed. So jelly it was.
4 cups blackberries
1 pouch fruit pectin – like sure jell – Not liquid.
3 cups sugar
1.5 cups water
Start by cooking the blackberries with the water in a pan over medium heat. As they start to warm up and simmer – crush them with a spoon or potato masher to help them exude their juices.
Once everything is mashed up, and you feel like the blackberries have given off their juices. Put everything through a strainer. You should have about 2.5 cups of liquid. If you come up short – just add a little water to get to 2.5 cups total.
Bring the strained juice up to a simmer and add the pectin. The pectin needs to be fully dissolved into the juice before you proceed. Bring the juice and pectin up to a simmer
Once you have reached a simmer, add the sugar. The entire thing will begin to thicken. Make sure you stir in the sugar and slowly bring everything up to a simmer again.
Once the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to bring everything up to a boil that does not stop when you stir the contents of the pan.
Once you have reached the boiling point, take 4 half pint jars and fill them with the jelly. Make sure you have cleaned and sterilized the jars and lids. Use a funnel to help keep the edges of the jars clean.
Screw on the lids and place them into a boiling water bath. The jars need to be submerged completely under the water. They also need to be kept away from direct contact with the bottom of the pan. So you need a rack in the bottom of the pan – or a pan insert that will work in the same way. (think pasta pot and strainer pan)
Bring up the water bath to a rolling boil. Put the lid on top of the pan to help keep everything hot. Process for 10 minutes.
Once the ten minutes is up, carefully remove the jars of jelly from the water bath. Put them on a towel to dry and let cool. You should hear that lovely little “pop” sound of the lids being sucked down as they seal.