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    Step by Step - Blackberry Jelly

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    Step by Step - Blackberry Jelly

    This recipe for blackberry preserve couldn't be easier. The fruit is boiled with sugar and then strained in a process that takes less than two hours. The resulting jelly is dark, fruity and softly set. Enjoy it spread on warm buttered toast or scones. It is also good served with roast poultry and game dishes instead of apple or herb jellies. Store the jars in a cool, dry, dark place to enjoy a supply throughout winter.

    • Vegetarian

    Ingredients

    • 1kg blackberries
    • 1kg preserving sugar
    • Juice of 3 large lemons

    Method

    1. Place the blackberries in a colander and rinse carefully under cold running water. Tip the fruit into a large, heavy-based pan or preserving pan. Add 400ml cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer, very gently, for about 20 minutes, until the fruit is soft and pulpy. Add the preserving sugar and lemon juice. Heat gently, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. This will take about 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile, place 2 or 3 small plates or saucers in the fridge to chill.
    2. Remove the lid from the pan, bring the mixture to the boil and cook rapidly for 8 minutes. The heat should be sufficiently high so that the mixture bubbles vigorously, but is not so near the top of the pan that it might boil over.
    3. Remove the pan from the heat and test to see if the syrup will set by spooning a little onto one of the chilled plates or saucers. Cool for a few seconds, then push the syrup with your finger tip. If it wrinkles slightly on the surface, it has reached setting point. If not, boil for a further 2 minutes and then test again. Repeat this process, if necessary, until setting point is reached.
    4. Position a large metal sieve over a large mixing bowl. Fill the sieve carefully with some of the blackberry mixture. Using the back of a large, metal spoon, push the pulp through the sieve into the bowl. When you have extracted as much syrup as you can, discard the seedy pulp left in the sieve. Continue this process with the remaining mixture in the pan until it has all been strained through the sieve.
    5. Ladle the strained syrup into clean, sterilised preserving jars (see cook's tips). Cover the surface of the jelly with waxed discs and seal the jar lids with rubber seals. If using jam jars, seal with jam pot covers. Label and store in a cool, dark place.

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    Cook's tips

    Once strained, the jelly starts to set fairly quickly so you will need to have everything ready for potting it into jars.

    It is important to use the right pan. Choose a large, wide pan. The mixture should not come any higher than half way up the sides. A wide pan helps the liquid to evaporate more quickly and reduces the likelihood of the syrup boiling over.

    Prepare the jars so that they are ready to use as soon as the jelly has reached setting point. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Ensure the jars are clean and free from cracks and chips. Place the jars on their sides in the oven for 10 minutes. Then turn the oven off, leaving the jars inside until the jelly is ready to pot.

    Use preserving sugar. It has larger crystals which dissolve slowly. This minimises scum and results in a bright, clear jelly.

    Store the jelly in a cool, dry place away from direct light, which will fade the colour. Unopened jelly will keep for up to one year. Once opened, store in a fridge for up to 4 weeks.

    Kitchen tools

    Colander
    Large, heavy-based pan or preserving pan
    Measuring jug and spoons
    Lemon squeezer
    Wooden spoon
    2 or 3 saucers or small plates
    Large metal sieve
    Large heatproof bowl
    Large metal spoon and ladle
    Preserving jars with lids, or jam jars and jam pot covers
    Waxed discs

    Comments

    Average user rating

    4 stars