Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blackberry Jamboree

We're still in high blackberry picking mode over here. I just can't pass up the plethora of free fruit sitting in the back yard. The passion fruits are sloooowly ripening, there must be at least a dozen of them. I have store away about 4 pounds of blackberries in .5lb zippy bags in the freezer but they're coming in faster than we can eat them. Preserving and using them is top priority.

I took approx. 5 cups (which is about 2lbs) and cooked them down to a low sugar blackberry jam. I used Sure Jell's low sugar pectin this time and had a much better gelling than with the Gel-EZ I bought in bulk on Amazon. We use one of these little half pint jars in our house during one meal of PB&J. Stockpiling jam is a serious necessity. I also found RealFruit Low/No sugar pectin in a jar at Walmart which I will try with a second batch.

Blackberries are a funny thing, they're tart cousins of raspberries. You either love them or hate them, there is no middle ground I've found. But I dare anyone that dislikes the tart juice of a blackberry to refuse a slice of this blackberry buttermilk cake. It's OMG good and easily devoured. Make two, you're going to need it.

The bushes that were brimming a few weeks ago (yes, I've been harvesting 1-3lbs a day for weeks) are dying down and the last patches that held out are bursting with fruit. I give blackberry picking season another week at most. By preserving them, I can relive it the rest of the year.

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