Tuesday, October 26, 2010

blackberry spread

These clean, bright jars of blackberries are the product of much mess: gnarly brambles, sticky hands, long red scratches.  That was a month ago.  I froze the last batch of berries, saving them to deal with on a rainy day and it really rained this weekend.  My stove top became a gruesome mess of splattered berry blood as the sweet, earthy smell of blackberries spirited through the house.  Now all that mess -- all the goodness too -- is sealed in glass, labeled and lined up on the pantry shelf waiting for another rainy day.

Blackberry Spread
(my own combination of several recipes)
*This spread isn't quite as thick as jam, but it's just right for spooning over pancakes or ice cream.  Best of all, there's no refined sugar or artificial pectin*

10 to12 cups of blackberries
2 cans of frozen apple juice concentrate with no added sugar (for sweetness)
8 to 10 apples, peeled, cored and cubed (for pectin)

Throw everything in a stock pot, bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for a very long time.  It can take a couple of hours to boil off all the water in blackberries, so choose a day when you'll be home and make a point of wandering through the kitchen every 20 minutes to stir and adjust the heat.  Let it boil lightly until you get a spreadable consistency.

Note:  Judging the correct consistency has taken practice, but I look for a thick, splattery boil (like porridge) and keep in mind that when the spread cools, it'll thicken a little more.

Fill sterilized canning jars and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.

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1 comment:

  1. What a descriptive way to write about making blackberry spread - "spattered berry blood" - sounds just right for Halloween. But the spread is something I'm going to try next year.