Saturday, December 14, 2013

Bramble Jelly-Part 2

I know, I know, this post has been a long time coming since I actually finished the Bramble Jelly over two months ago, but I finally have the time to sit and write the rest out. 

The second half of this process was accomplished with my two good friends Ashley and Kristi. We kept scheduling and having to cancel our plans for different reasons and when we finally found the best time for us to do this I got a migraine earlier in the day but pushed on through anyway. This is all to explain why there are no pictures of us- picture me in pj bottoms and slippers with crazy sleep hair- and why I've neglected to capture most of the process by photograph. We had a good time anyway and ended up with a nice product!

Here's how:

We ended up doing 3 batches with all the juice that we had and Ashley brought some berries to make a batch that had seeds in it. We put the juice (or straight berries) and sugar (1 pint juice per 1 lb jam sugar) in a large pot on low heat and added a few squeezes of lemon juice (real lemon) to help it set better as blackberries are a low-pectin fruit. Juice and sugar was stirred until the sugar dissolved. 

At the same time we sterilized our jars and lids. The oven was heated to gas mark 1 (275°F/130°C) and we put the jars on a cookie sheet and heated them in the oven for 20 minutes. Lids were put into boiling water for 10 minutes. 

The juice and sugar mixture was then brought to a boil and simmered. We made sure to test the jelly every 5 minutes to see if it had set. This took about 10-15 minutes. The setting point is 105C/220F. Scum was skimmed from the jelly after the setting point was reached. (The pot can sit off of heat for up to 15 minutes after the setting point is reached) 
It was at this point when having three of us was very helpful as hot jelly needs to go quickly into hot jars. Ashley removed each hot jar from the oven, I filled each with jelly, and Kristi quickly closed each lid. The lids need to be closed quickly to provide a good seal and to prevent mildew! Success!!

The jars were left on the counter to cool overnight and almost all of our seals depressed leaving us with jam that could be stored at room temperature. 

I added labels to my jars and a little bit of jelly flair! Now they are all ready to be given as gifts! Don't worry, we saved some for ourselves too!

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