Mama brag time!
This little guy has made big strides this past week. First he mastered sitting up. Then his first and second little toothies came in. I love the toothy grin little ones get. On Tuesday Kirk put Alistaire down on the floor…and he set off crawling for his ball. No warning. Just took off. He bypassed the army crawl and went straight to arms fully extended. And now? He is up on his knees, barely touching the sides of his pack n’ play, straight as can be. Wonder how long till he pulls himself up?
In all my living like it is 1912, I had something I hadn’t tried before. Jelly. Seriously! I started making jam with my Mom when I was little and we made it every year, multiple times a year. But jelly? I don’t remember making it. I am going to guess it was because it took more time, more gear and my Dad didn’t mind seeds. I never much liked seedy jam and we ate a lot of it. Once I moved out, I avoided seedy jam – my stomach hates seeds! This year I picked native Pacific Blackberries, which are better tasting and nowhere as “seedy” in texture – I actually like eating them fresh. Unlike the Himalayan berries we had when I was a kid (the invasive type).
I used Pomonas Universal Pectin to set the jelly and honey as the sweetener. I have found these small batches of jam to be quick – I juiced the berries while making dinner and made the jelly/canned after dinner. It took only a little time. Canning doesn’t have to be an all day affair!
Blackberry and Marionberry Honey Jelly
- 4 cups blackberry juice
- 2 cups marionberry juice
- 6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)
- 1½ cups raw honey, locally sourced
- Pomonoa Pectin (see recipe for amounts)
Jars & Lids –
Wash and rinse the jars; put them into a big stockpot; cover the jars with water and bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let stand in hot water until you are ready to fill.
Wash the bands and lids, bring a saucepan of water to boil, add them let sit until you are ready to screw them on the jars. (Use new lids each time, bands can be reused.)
For the berries –
Mash with a potato masher in a large bowl, press through a fine mesh sieve (strainer), collecting the juice. Measure and add to a large saucepan with lemon juice.
To make the calcium water, mix ½ tsp calcium (the smaller of the two packets in the pectin box) with ½ cup filtered water in a small canning jar, shake till dissolved. Set aside, you will need 6 tsp of it, the rest can be refrigerated for later use. Add 6 teaspoons of the calcium water to the juice, stir well.
For the honey & pectin –
Measure the honey into a separate bowl and thoroughly mix 6 tsp pectin (the larger packet) into it, set aside.
To Cook –
Bring the berry mixture to boil, stirring often. Pour the pectin-honey mixture into the boiling jelly, slowly and carefully, stirring as you add. Stir vigorously 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin.
Let it return to a boil and remove from the heat. Pectin gels completely when thoroughly cool, so don’t worry if your jelly looks loose while still hot (although this particular jelly is stiff).
To preserve –
Empty the water out of your jars, fill to ¼” of the top (a sterilized canning funnel works great). Wipe the rims with a new damp paper towel, removing any spilled jelly, especially on the rim.
Place a lid on top and tighten a band around each jar, place them into a pot of boiling water (such as a canning pot), using a canning rack to lower in. Make sure all jars are upright and that jars are fully submerged, with at least 2″ of water above.
Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Take out carefully using a jar lifter or tongs. Have a clean kitchen towel on the counter, place each jar on it and let cool for at least 6 hours, overnight is better. Listen for the “popping sound” and keep track of how many times you hear it. Check after cooling that the lid is firm when pressed on, if it pops up and down, it isn’t sealed. If that happens, refrigerate that jar and use within a couple of weeks.
Once cooled, store the jars in a pantry for up to 12 months. Once opened, store in the refrigerator and use up within 3 weeks.
Makes about 8 cups jelly. I made 4 pint jars.