Blackberry season is here! Just one whiff of blackberries the aroma will make you smile. The taste is of summer sweetness is blackberries. Here are some tips for this summer fruit.
Select plump, well-colored blackberries. They should not have stem caps attached. If hulls are still attached, the berries are immature and were picked too early. Avoid berries showing any signs of decay.
When buying berries, shop with your nose. Always pick the plumpest and most fragrant berries. They should be firm, bright, and fresh looking with no mold or bruises. If possible, buy locally grown berries. They’re likely to be sweeter and juicier than those that are bred for shipment.
Select berries that are in dry, unstained containers. (Stained containers may indicate over soft berries that are not freshly picked.) Mold on berries spreads quickly. Never leave a moldy berry next to a good one.
Do not wash or hull berries until you’re ready to use them, and refrigerate unwashed berries as soon as possible.
Store them in a colander in the refrigerator. This allows the cold air to circulate around them.
Remove berries from refrigerator one to two hours before serving. Berries are at their fullest flavor at room temperature.
Blackberry Freezer Jam
Prep Time: 30 min
Total Time: 24 hr 30 min
Makes: About 7 (1-cup) containers
3-1/4 cups prepared fruit (buy about 2 qt. fully ripe blackberries)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 box Pectin
1 cup light corn syrup
4-1/2 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
1. Rinse clean plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.
2. Mash blackberries thoroughly, one layer at a time. (Press half of pulp through a sieve to remove some seeds, if desired.) Measure exactly 3-1/4 cups prepared fruit into large bowl. Stir in lemon juice.
3. Stir pectin into prepared fruit in bowl. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Stir in corn syrup. Gradually add sugar, stirring until well blended. Stir an additional 3 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)
4. Fill all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using