Last week I made a new batch of liquid pectin and promised I would show the results of a jelly making session with the homemade pectin. Well, here it is!!
We went up to our future homestead this weekend, to do some work, getting the site ready for a shipping container in which we will store a lot of our household items while we build our new house. Between work I picked some gooseberries and some blackberries that grow wild on our property.
Because of the drought, the blackberries were pretty small and seedy, but their flavor was still wonderful. The gooseberries were also a bit on the small side, but what they lacked in size, they did not lack in spikes! These little berries are seriously dangerous to pick without leather gloves!
Since I didn’t have enough blackberries to make a batch of jelly, nor did I have enough gooseberries, I decided to make Black Goose Jelly!
To make the juice, after rinsing off the berries to get any dust or insects off, I placed the berries in a large pot with about 1/2 cup of water, and slowly brought up the temperature. Once the berries were softened, I used my potato masher and smashed the berries, until the pulp was pretty much, well… pulp!
I followed the recipe for blackberry jelly that Certo Liquid Pectin had online. It called for 3-3/4 cups of juice to 7 cups of sugar. Now, I know that’s a lot of sugar, but if you consider that jams and jellies are really just confections, not to be consumed in mass quantities (cone heads?), then it doesn’t seem so unreasonable. Pectin also needs acid to work, whether it is in the juice itself or added in the form of lemon juice. Although blackberries are naturally slightly acidic, the recipe called for 1/4 cup. I have heard some people like to put salt – just a pinch – in their jellies and swear that it makes them taste better. I didn’t. But I did add just a pat of butter to prevent a lot of foaming.
So, once the blackberry/gooseberry juice, lemon juice and sugar were all in the pan, I let the mixture come to a full rolling boil that could not be stirred down. All at once I dumped in a jar of my homemade liquid pectin (click here to see how to make liquid pectin) and started timing exactly 1 minute. If you boil the pectin too long, sometimes it’s effectiveness can be diminished – stay with the 1 minute timetable.
The jars, bands and lids were all ready to go, as were the jars, so I ladled the jelly into the jars, placed the lids and bands on top, then placed them into a water bath canner for 15 minutes. I ended up with eight 8 ounce jars of Black Goose Jelly that had a beautiful deep ruby red color. Unfortunately, I was by myself and I was just too busy to stop to take a picture of the actual canning part. If you have ever made jam or jelly before, you probably know what I’m talking about!
How does it taste? Wonderful! The sweetness of the gooseberries mingled with the tartness of the blackberries and made a wonderful jelly.
Here is the actual recipe I used:
3-3/4 cups blackberry/gooseberry juice (for me it was about 50/50)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (acid needed to make pectin work)
7 cups sugar (sounds like a lot, but don’t skimp)
1/2 tsp butter (to stop foaming)
1 eight ounce jar of homemade liquid pectin (seriously, make your own!)
Mix together the juice, sugar and lemon juice and heat to boiling. When at a full boil, pour in liquid pectin and continue boiling and stiring for 1 minute. Remove from heat, ladle into clean hot jars, place on lids and bands. Place in water bath for 15 minutes.
Do you make jams or jellies? So far, I think my favorite just might be this combination. It’s really good. But last year I made some Plum Butter in the CrockPot and that was absolutely delicious! If you would like to see that recipe, CLICK HERE.
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