Black Goose Jelly w/Homemade Pectin

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!Making jelly with homemade pectin

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! Homemade pectin jelly

The pulp is then poured into wet cheesecloth and allowed to drain for a couple of hours.  Don’t squeeze if you can help it –  if you do your jelly won’t be very clear, but will taste just the same.  how to make jelly with liquid pectin

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.Making jelly with homemade pectin

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 did the homemade liquid pectin work?  Great!  You can see that the jelly stands up quite proudly on the spoon.How to make jelly with homemade liquid pectin

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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37 thoughts on “Black Goose Jelly w/Homemade Pectin

  1. ohhh looks yummy and sounds delish! thanks for sharing your recipe!! I did strawberry jam once that turned into strawberry syrup – I was afraid to boil it too fast so ended up it never set lol. It was tasty though!

    • Isn’t it fun that there really isn’t a failed jelly or jam – they just become syrup! I had a failed strawberry jelly once that we just poured over ice cream. It was soooo good! We even put a little in yogurt with fresh chunks of strawberry – Yum!! And then there’s french toast… 🙂

    • Yeah – I didn’t really have a choice but to combine the two. I suppose I could have just made the juice separately and then frozen it, and then made jelly when I got more blackberries and/or gooseberries, but the combination of the two turned out really good! It’s an intense blackberry flavor with the sweet/tart from the gooseberries. Thanks for stopping by, Vickie. Oh – and thanks for the free Kindle books from your site!

    • Yes, those knobs on my kitchen cabinets come in handy and are very sturdy – until the rubber band breaks! 🙁 That’s why you might notice at least 3 rubber bands hanging the cheesecloth. Thank you for your compliments, Shari.

  2. Sounds yummy. I’m fascinated by your gooseberries. They look very different from what I call gooseberries which are translucent globes about the size of your baby finger’s nail pad, green or pinky red depending on how ripe they are. They are identifiable by the lines or threads running from top to bottom, like longitude lines on a globe. Don’t look anything like your brightly colored spiny fruit. I wonder if that’s a regional difference in naming the fruit? I’m in Ontario Canada.

    • Yes, you are right, these do look different! But, if you take off the spines they are the same as yours – probably taste the same too! I think it’s just a regional diversity for the gooseberries – these are in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. They probably developed the spines as a defensive mechanism against deer or rabbits, but I think the deer eat them anyway. If you google for “spiny gooseberries” you will come up with quite a few pictures of what my bush looks like. The juice they produce is very sweet with a mild flavor – like a red grape. Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

  3. I just made some gooseberry jelly the other day, those spikes do hurt (and I got a wasp nest on a leaf too.) Thanks for posting another recipe I can try with the gooseberries. I never know what to do with the gooseberries.

    • Those gooseberries can be dangerous, but wasps have got to be the worst! Some people make gooseberry pie, but they are the ones lucky enough to have smooth gooseberries! Could you imagine making a pie with the spiny ones! No thanks! I stopped by your blog and read about making Sour Cherry Jelly – Mmmm – sounds so good! Thanks for visiting my blog, Stacey!

  4. I am enjoying your site and the tips you offer. Your homemade pectin is something I want to try. The picture of your gooseberries startled me. I am so thankful that I have smooth skin gooseberries! But the branches have lots of spikes.

    • Yeah – those gooseberries startle me too! We have actually considered pulling them out because apparently there is a symbiotic relationship between these gooseberries and White Pine Blister – a nasty disease for our white pines. But then, the jury is still out on that one, because I have read more recent reports that the trees can be infected by plants as much as a mile away! Since I can’t pull all the plants within a mile radius, I guess I will just wait and see what happens. So far everything has been fine. Besides, I like my Black Goose Jelly! Thanks for stopping by with your kind comments.

  5. The jelly sounds delicious! Pardon my ignorance, but how do you address the spikes? Do they just cook away? Thank you for sharing it and you mouthwatering pasta sauce at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!


    • Hahaha – there is never such thing as an ignorant question! I’m glad you asked. Actually, I don’t deal with them much at all! 🙂 I just throw them into the pot with just a bit of water so they don’t scorch when I am making the juice. As they heat up, the spikes soften a bit, then I use my potato masher and take out my anger from getting pricked (I somehow always get pricked no matter how careful I am) as I mash and smash away! Then, since I want a fairly clear jelly, I don’t really squeeze the bag, though most of the spikes are pretty limp by now anyway. Have a great day, Deborah!

    • You’ve never heard of gooseberry?! Well, let me tell you, they are some of the sweetest berries around, survive quite well in a drought situation, and are known for attracting deer and bears. You should try one some day – but if you eat it raw, just make sure there aren’t any spines on the berry, like mine! 🙂

  6. I’m not a gooseberry lover but with I do love Raspberries. This sounds delicious and I love the homemade pectin idea. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays Blog Hop. Always love seeing your recipes.

    • You should try! After looking through your website, I can see you are a good cook, so canning should be easy for you! Thanks for your kind comments, Julie. Have a great day!

    • Thank you so much for the feature, Marci! I will be at the party tomorrow with bells on 🙂 Yes, the jelly turned out really good. It almost has a concord grape-ish flavor, but with the richness of the blackberry. The homemade pectin worked like a charm – no problems – and I got a good gel.

  7. Homemade pectin is on my to-do list and now I am really excited that it worked for your jelly! It seemed to hold up well! Did you end up canning your pectin or freezing it? I have seen some recipes for making the pectin but none with it in “action” so this was a needed post. Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! Excellent news for this jam maker 🙂

    • I canned my pectin – ended up with six pints – enough to make six batches of jam or jelly. This stuff really works! But, you must remember to get tart unripe apples! I agree with you about the need for “proof” that something works. I have seen a lot of great ideas – especially on pinterest – but when you try them out, they don’t really work. Thanks for your kind words, JES.

  8. I’ve never had gooseberries. They look great!

    Stopping by again from Green Thumb Thursday. Thanks for linking up last week, please join us again!

    ~Lisa M

    • You should really try a gooseberry jelly at least once in your life. One of those bucket list things. Some people say they taste a little like strawberries, and others say more like red grapes. I’m not sure, but I would bet that gooseberries taste a bit different in each region they grow, especially when you consider how different they look from the East Coast to the West. Thanks for hosting Green Thumb Thursday.

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