Easy Blackberry Preserve Recipe
May 25, 2022
Texas Blackberry season is here!
Throughout May and into early June, countless punnets of blackberries are harvested and sold across the Lone Star State. These berries tolerate even the hottest of Texas summers and are often found in and around country roads and fields. Blackberries also make excellent fruit plants for home landscapes. Are you looking for a neat way to use up plenty of blackberries? Let me share with you a fabulous preserve recipe!
If you don’t know, preserves are whole fruits that are slow cooked in sugar – a traditional technique used plenty in the past to preserve seasonal fruits. This blackberry preserve is great on a charcuterie board, in a homemade pie, or even as an ice cream topping!
Blackberry Preserve Ingredients
Fresh blackberries are the key ingredient for this preserve. Blackberries don’t continue to ripen after picking, meaning the best time to harvest blackberries is when they are at their ripest. Avoid mushy, over-ripe fruit – your homemade preserves will only taste as good as the fruit you use.
Lemon juice adds tartness to balance the sweetness in your blackberry preserve. It also adds acidity and natural pectin, which helps to set your homemade preserve.
Sugar has some unique properties that enable it to preserve food. Sugar preserves food products by removing moisture from their cells. The lack of moisture prevents organisms that cause spoilage from multiplying. Preserves have extended shelf lives because they contain sugar as the main preservative.
Tools and equipment for making Blackberrry Preserves
If you’re wanting to make preserves for the first time, there’s no need for fancy state-of-the-art equipment. Remember, this is a technique that’s been passed down several generations, and no special appliances were needed back in the day.
Heavy-bottomed pots are best for cooking preserves.
A kitchen scale allows you to measure ingredients in weight rather than in volume for more accurate recipes.Jars
Use special canning jars designed to withstand the high temperatures of steam pressure processing and the low temperatures of freezing.
Jar lifters are used to safely and securely lift jars out of the hot water.
Sterilizing is a crucial part of preserving that removes harmful bacteria. Skipping this step will result in your preserves potentially becoming contaminated, meaning they may spoil quickly. To fully sterilize the jars, they need to be submerged in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Timing is important, because hot preserves should be placed in hot jars – it’s best to start sterilizing your jars when the preserves are about 20 minutes away from being ready.
Want to know more on this topic? Check out TexasRealFood’s top tips for prepping preserves.
- Cooking your preserves for too long will result in a poor texture. And cooking them too fast will result in a runny texture.
- Do not add hot preserves to cold jars – this may cause your jars to crack!
- Do not cut, chop, or puree the fruit for chunky textured preserves.
- 5 pounds fresh blackberries
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Place a small plate in the freezer.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, mix the berries, sugar and lemon juice. Allow the mixture to macerate for at least 30 minutes or until the sugar has started to break down the blackberries.
- Cook rapidly over high heat, stirring constantly.
- Reduce temperature to medium and simmer while constantly stirring for around 20 minutes or so. Skim off any foam if necessary.
- Once the mixture starts to thicken, test whether it’s ready by placing a tablespoon of it in the freezer for one minute. You can then test the gelling point of the preserve by pressing your finger against the cold jam. It should wrinkle when touched.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool slightly.
- Ladle the hot preserve into hot jars.
- Wait at least 15 minutes for the preserve to settle before sealing the jars.
- Place the filled jars in a hot water bath, submerging them in water by at least one to two inches.
- On a medium high heat, simmer the jars for at least 15 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the water bath.
- Let them cool down on a towel for 12–24 hours.
- Label and enjoy!