If the word homemade jelly makes you think wow that’s a lot of work and looks so hard to do I am here to change your mind. I have been making my own jam for 30 years and I always thought jelly was a lot of work until I decided I was going to give it a try last year. At first I went to the store and bought a jelly strainer with the washable cheesecloth and started to make my first batch. It was easy to take the fruit, add some water and let it cook down for about 5 minutes. So with my cheesecloth lined strainer I added my fruit and juices only to discover the store bought metal strainer was not as sturdy as I thought and the cheesecloth did not hold all my cooked down fruit. I did eventually get all the juice into a bowl and made my first jelly but I needed a better way to strain my juice from the fruit. One Saturday morning my husband and I went to an estate sale and there in front of my eyes was a vintage jelly strainer. For $5 I could not pass it up and had to give it a try. After making my first batch of jelly in this vintage jelly strainer I was hooked. I have found 2 more since at estate sales and sometimes I have 3 different batches of jelly going at one time. With blackberries Fresh From Oregon this week it was time for me to make a batch of blackberry apply jelly. So if you have been thinking about making homemade jelly just hit a few estate sales and come home with your own vintage strainer and get started.
Fresh Blackberry Apple Jelly
3 pounds blackberries (2 1/2 quarts)
1 1/4 cup water
8 medium apples
Bottled apple juice (maybe)
1/4 cup lemon juice
8 cups sugar
2 pouches (3oz each) liquid fruit pectin
In large sauce pan, bring blackberries and 1 1/4 cup water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Line a stainer with a double layer of cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Place berry mixture in strainer and let stand for 30 minutes or until you think all the juice has strained out. Reserve the juice and discard the pulp.
Remove and discard the stem and blossom ends of the apples (do not peel or core), cut into small pieces. Place in large saucepan with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until apples are tender. Place apples in cheesecloth lined strainer and leave for 30 minutes. Reserve juice and discard pulp.
Measure the reserved blackberry and apple juice to 4 cups each. If necessary, add bottled apple juice to get to the 4 cups. Stir in lemon juice and sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the two packets of liquid pectin; return to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat; skim off foam. Ladle into hot jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jar and adjust the two-piece cap. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Remove jars from canner and set on a towel to cool.
Source ~ Taste of Home Canning & Preserving magazine
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