Blackberries are lovely and delightful berries that aren’t black but are encased in a deep purple hue. Although others would associate that hue with blueberries. Blackberries grow all over the world and can be found in Asia, North and South America, and Europe. Like all berries, blackberries contain concentrated amounts of nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re famous for having anthocyanin which has several anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Blackberries also help combat diabetes, hypertension, and cancers.
Blackberry jelly is made with the clear and concentrated juices of blackberries along with gelatin and sugars. Making jellies is almost like a branch of food science that requires precision and creativity.
Blackberry Jelly Trivia
- The Blackberry is the official State Fruit of Alabama.
- Red-colored blackberries are often mistaken as raspberries. However, there’s a simple trick to this. Picking blackberries leaves their core intact while picking raspberries leaves their core behind. It is a simple trick that berry pickers and foragers deploy during their pickings.
- The US celebrates National Blackberry Day every September 12 when blackberries are in full bloom and can be harvested to make blackberry-themed desserts.
Blackberry Jelly Buying Guide
Blackberry jellies are produced by both commercial and artisan producers. When buying blackberry jellies, look at the ingredients and avoid those jellies with heavy doses of artificial sugars, chemicals, and toxic preservatives.
Bonne Mamman is a French brand famous for producing jams and preserves made from simple and natural ingredients. Other brands specializing in fruit jelly production include Smucker’s and Mountain Fruit Co.
You can buy Blackberry Jelly in Texas by contacting Bug’s Corner Texas Hill County Peaches. They make artisan blackberry jelly made from the sweetest and natural juices of Texas blackberries grown around their area.
Blackberry Jelly Production & Farming in Texas
Blackberries are grown prominently in Texas. Northern Texas backyards, in particular, provide excellent environmental and soil conditions for the blackberries to grow and thrive. Texas Blackberries can easily grow in tiny garden patches in any available soil. They are not very sensitive to soil conditions and their growth will not affect the taste and flavor of the berries.
May and June are harvest season for Blackberries in Texas and this is where the fun time for the kids begin. People can choose to buy the blackberries picked by hand and sold fresh in farmer’s markets, or people can actively participate in harvesting blackberries by the basket through the “pick your own” blackberries farm experience.
Preservatives and Chemicals
It has been said that the artisan crafts of making jellies, jams, and preserves are now a dying art as people resort to commercially produced products that have very different tastes and textures from the handcrafted ones.
Sugar is the most obvious preservative added in the blackberry jam. However, there are different types of sugars in preserved fruit products. For instance, preserving sugars with high pectin are added to jams, preserves, and marmalades. On the other hand, jelling sugar or jam sugar already contains other chemical additives such as pectin which acts as a gelling agent, and citric acid as a preservative.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is one of the most toxic sugar additives in jellies. Consuming foods with high fructose corn syrup adds an unhealthy amount of fructose to the body which leads to more health problems such as obesity, fatty liver disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Most commercially produced blackberry jellies contain artificial flavoring and coloring to enhance the looks and taste of the final product.
Sealing and canning are some of the most essential steps in preserving jellies and jams. The sealing process will eventually determine the jelly’s shelf life. Sterilize the canning jars by boiling them in water for 10 minutes carefully where the canning lids and bands. It is essential to know that canning lids should only be used once to seal new products.
Enjoying Blackberry Jellies
Blackberry jellies can be eaten like any other preserves and jams. Put in on top of your pancakes or waffles along with fresh cream, or on top of your buttered toast. Mix dollops of buttercream and blackberry jelly, and use it as a filling for cakes or as icing on cupcakes. Blackberry jellies can also be used as a donut or cupcake filling.
Home-made jellies must be stored in the refrigerator and can be stored for at least a month. Avoid frequently opening and storing the canned jellies at room temperature as it can shorten their shelf-life. Check the lid of the jellies for any contaminants such as molds and yeasts.
If the jelly smells of yeast and begins to form a watery texture, get rid of it as it’s already spoiled.
HOMEMADE BLACKBERRY JELLY
Take delight in the Blackberry season by making your home-made jellies. Give them away as gifts or just store them in your fridge.
To make the blackberry juice:
5 cups fresh blackberries 6-7 of the small cartons of blackberries or 2 pounds of frozen berries
4 cups water
To make the jelly:
3¾ cups blackberry juice
4½ cups sugar
1 ¾ ounces SureJell dry pectin
½ teaspoon butter
To make the blackberry juice:
- Combine the berries and water in a large pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Lightly smash the berries with a potato masher or large spoon.
- Maintaining a steady boil, cook berries for 20 minutes.
- Place a large bowl beneath a fine-mesh strainer (or a regular strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth). Save the juice and discard the berry remnants and seeds.
To make the jelly:
- Measure sugar in a medium-size bowl. Set aside.
- Measure the blackberry juice. You should have close to 3 3/4 cup. If you are a bit short add water to measure 3 3/4 cups. If you have more than 3 3/4 cup, save the extra juice for another use.
- Combine juice and pectin in a 6 to 8 quart sauce pot Stir well to combine.
- Add the butter and bring the mixture to FULL ROLLING BOIL (a boil that does not stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring frequently.
- Add the sugar and stir well.
- Return to a rolling boil and boil exactly one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
- Quickly ladle into the prepared jars to within 1/8 inch of top. Wipe jar rims and threads with damp cloth. Cover with the lids. Allow the jelly to sit at room temperature for 24 hours then refrigerate (for 3-4 weeks) or freeze (for 4-5 months).
- If using the hot water bath method, begin processing right after filling the jars.