If I’m going to get my canning equipment out I am going to make it worth it. On this jelly day I made a batch of cherry preserves and wild raspberry jelly. Now that may not sound like a lot, but after washing, pitting, cooking, jarring, sterilizing jars for both kinds of jelly; it takes all day long.
I had picked a whole gallon sized bag of raspberries that grow alongside the road where I live and I have the scratches to prove it too. It was a long afternoon of bending, squatting, and sweating to get all of these and I wanted to make sure that I made something special with it so I could enjoy my hard labor in the months to come.
The day before picking the berries, I picked cherries at my friend’s house. She and her husband have a very prolific cherry tree that produces a plethora of ice cream buckets full every year and I was lucky enough that they shared some with me. My middle daughter and my friend and her son had a great time picking them; only one accident with only injuries to the cherries.
I used the recipe from the Ball blue book as a guide in order to ensure the safety of my jams and jellies. I must stress the safety part of canning. If you do not have enough acid in your canned goods, and do not process them properly you can become sick or even die. So follow the directions carefully and you should be okay.
I like to grow the things that I can, and if I am not able to grow them, then I buy them from the farmers market. I enjoy canning the bounty of summer to enjoy at a later date. However, there are two parts of this process that I do not enjoy sterilizing the jars and then cleaning all of the dishes when I am done with the whole process. But, it is so worth it!
Ingredients (Berry Jam) yield about 3 pints unless de-seeding and will be less.
9 cups crushed berries
6 cups sugar
Note-If seedless jam is preferred, crushed berries may be heated until soft and pressed through a sieve or a food mill; measure pulp and proceed.
Another Note- I added 4 seeded and pureed jalapenos to this recipe without changing anything else and it was delicious. If you like red pepper jelly you’ll love this version.
- Combine berries and sugar in a large sauce pot and bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Cook rapidly to gelling point, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and burning.
- Remove from heat, skim the foam if necessary.
- Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Ingredients (Sour Cherry Preserves)
3 pounds pitted red sour cherries
1 package powdered pectin
5 cups sugar
Yield: about 6 half-pints
- Combine cherries and pectin in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Add sugar, stirring until dissolved and bring to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat, skim foam if necessary. Stir 5 minutes to distribute fruit.
- Ladle hot preserves into ht jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust two-piece caps.
- Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
I’m a wife, mother, pastry chef and amatuer gardner. I travel as much as possible, can what I grow, and taste as many new things as possible.