August is the busiest month of the year on our small farm—that's when we're harvesting sweet corn, pumpkins and pickling cucumbers for our stand. But I always make time to put up this jelly. The apples come from our old-fashioned orchard, while the blackberries grow wild along our creek...and the jelly's usually gone by January! —Liz Endacott, Matsqui, British Columbia
- 3 pounds blackberries (about 2-1/2 quarts)
- 1-1/4 cups water
- 7 to 8 medium apples
- Additional water
- Bottled apple juice, optional
- 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
- 8 cups sugar
- 2 pouches (3 ounces each) liquid fruit pectin
- In a Dutch oven, bring blackberries and water to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Line a strainer with four layers of cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Place berry mixture in strainer; cover with edges of cheesecloth. Let stand 30 minutes or until strained, reserving juice and discarding pulp.
- Remove and discard stems and blossom ends from apples (do not pare or core); cut into small pieces. Place in the Dutch oven; add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until apples are tender. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, reserving juice and discarding pulp.
- Measure the reserved blackberry and apple juices; return to the pan. If necessary, add water or bottled apple juice to equal 4 cups. Stir in lemon juice, then sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Continue to boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat; skim off foam. Carefully ladle hot mixture into nine hot sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
- Place jars into canner simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Yield: about 9 half-pints.
Originally published as Blackberry Apple Jelly in Country Woman July/August 1994, p29
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