It’s blackberry season and this year our valley has a bumper crop. It seems everywhere we go there are branches bending over with the weight of ripe, luscious berries. Best part? They’re free!
Blackberries freeze well. I lay them out on baking sheets, freeze them, and then toss them in containers to be enjoyed in the winter.
We made our favourite hot pepper jelly this week. We devour dollops of this jelly on crostini smeared with chevre or cream cheese. Laura and I picked about two ice cream buckets full but we only needed about 10 cups to make 4 cups of juice for this jelly recipe.
Blackberry Habanero Jelly
Makes ten 1/2 cup (125 ml) jars
- 2 ozs powdered pectin (1 packet)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 4 cups blackberry juice
- 1/2 cup lemon juice, strained
- 2 small Habanero peppers, finely minced
- 3 1/2 cups white sugar
- 5 half pint canning jars with lids and rings (or 10 1/2 cup (125 ml) jars
1. Crush 10 cups of freshly picked and washed blackberries. I just use a potato masher. Spoon them into jelly bags and let them sit and drip overnight, or for at least 2 hours. Resist the urge to squeeze the last bit of juice out of the berries as this will cloud your jelly. If you don’t have enough juice, you could always stretch it by replacing some of it with clear unsweetened apple juice.
2. Mix the pectin crystals with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. Stir the blackberry juice, lemon juice, pectin mixture, and finely minced Habaneros in a saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil for 1 full minute. Add the 3 1/2 cups sugar and return to a rolling boil until the sugar has fully dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir while off heat to remove bubbles and foam for about 5 minutes.
3. Ladle into sterile jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Seal jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the canner and leave undisturbed for 24 hours. Refrigerate jelly after seal is broken.