Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blackerry Canning

Blackberry season is ending. C- and I picked several pounds of blackberries from the Francis St patch. Canned some and froze some. This is my first attempt at canning, and here what I learned: acid and sugar are needed for gel formation, and sugar preserves. (I wonder about the shelf life of a Twinkie..) Pectin contains organic acids. But I was wary about using pectin, and worried that I'd have something resembling warm jello if I didn't. So I made two different recipes:
  • 1 lb of blackberries, 1 lb of sugar, juice of 1 lemon. Combined for 1.5 hours, then cooked for about 45 min's--enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set beautifully. Yielded 3 1/2 pint jars.
  • Ball Original Fruit Pectin recipe - Crushed 5 cups crushed berries, added 1 package of pectin, brought to a hard boil. Added 7 cups of sugar and returned to hard boil for a couple of minutes. Yielded 9 1/2 pint jars.
Was easier than I thought. Sort of like brewing beer: keep everything clean and stir, stir, stir.

Both recipes made a preserve that set beautifully. Next, rhubarb!