Introduction: Blackberry Jelly for the Pickin'

They're ripe, and they're free! Another experiment in 100-foot cuisine! They grow wild, we're stewards of the land (that is, we pay the property taxes on it), and they'll just die if I don't pick them, right? Let's make jelly!

Step 1: Ingredients

1-2 quarts of ripe blackberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon size packets Stevia in the Raw
3 t. powdered pectin

Step 2: Mix All Ingredients and Bring to a Boil

Wash the blackberries. Bring water and sugars to a boil. Add the blackberries. They'll turn red as they get hot. Boil them for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. You can add half a teaspoon of butter to minimize the formation of foam; also, reduce the heat just to maintain the boil. 

Step 3: Crush the Berries

Mash the berries with a vegetable masher.

Step 4: Press the Berries

Ladle the hot blackberries into a strainer over a bowl. Press the juice out.

Step 5: Add the Pectin and Boil

Return the juice to the pan and bring to a boil again. Slowly stir in the pectin and continue to boil for another two minutes, stirring constantly. 

Step 6: Pour Into Jars

Pour the juice into clean, hot jars. Cool to room temperature. If all goes according to plan, the jelly will set as it cools. If it doesn't, refrigerate it and use it to flavor sauces and salad dressings.

In the meantime, somebody give me a clue as to what to do with that disgusting-looking pulp. If I had pigs, I'd feed it to them. Maybe I can turn it into bird feed. Hmmm. 

Step 7: Notes

This isn't processed, so it will need to be refrigerated and eaten within a month. (I don't like to crank up my canner unless I have six jars of something.)

Pectin, like yeast, is funny. Sometimes it gels, and sometimes it doesn't. (User error? Well, maybe.) The Blue Book says it can take weeks for pectin-enhanced jellies to set up. Mine will be gone by then.

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