Friday, July 8, 2011

Blackberry, Rhubarb, Lemon Preserves

Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes - The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Blackberries, those little black diamonds of pure sweetness are delicious when paired with the tartness of rhubarb and lemon.  In the middle of winter when our world is filled with snow and cold and the darkness of days; Blackberry, Rhubarb, Lemon Preserves will transport you back to sunny, warm, summer days with each bite.  Slather it on buttered toast, cream cheesed bagel, buckwheat pancakes, or simply spoon it out of the jar and eat a "marmalade spoon" as my middle son called them.  With time, the blackberries will candy and taste deeelishhhhhhousssss....

As an aside, you will be filling yourself with a number of good for you things, like magnesium, calcium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese, as well as, antioxidants.  On an educational note, this is called a preserve rather than a jam because it has actual small pieces of fruit lying in the jam.  

So as the summer is winding up with berries coming in season and rhubarb starting to tire out, consider putting up some of this delicious preserve to have on hand when the winter doldrums make a little taste of summer a survival necessity.   

5 cups blackberries, crushed
2 cups rhubarb, diced
1 medium lemon, sliced thinly and seeds removed
7 cups sugar
1 box premium fruit pectin


Begin by preparing jars and lids and rims for canning.  Wash jars, lids, and rims in warm sudsy water.  Set jars filled with water in large water canner half filled with water.  Bring to a boil, then turn off heat.  Set lids and rims in a small saucepan filled with water.  Bring to a boil, then turn off heat.

Prepare fruit as listed.   Measure exact amounts of fruit.

Measure exact amount of sugar in a separate bowl

In a large saucepot, combine 1 box pectin with blackberries, rhubarb, and lemon.

Bring mixture to a full rolling boil.

Quickly, stir in all of the sugar.  Return the sugar and fruit mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat stirring constantly for one minute.

Remove saucepot from heat.  Skim off any foam.

Quickly ladle fruit mixture into clean jars.  Wipe rim and thread of jars clean.  Place two piece lids onto jars.  Place in water canner.  Process 10 minutes.

Remove jars from canner and place on a fresh towel to allow to dry completely.  Let jars sit for 24 hours.


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