I have a GLUT of blackberries. I recently made a beautiful seedless (well mostly) jam and still had about a lot of berries left over.
I’ve been doing a fair amount of canning lately, and honestly, the thought of doing anything complicated just didn’t spark much interest. I finally decided to pick through the berries, and put the over the hill berries in the chicken treat bowl.
What was left was packed into jars (it worked out to 7 jelly and 1 pint). I made a simple syrup of 4 cups sugar to 4 cups water (simmered until it is syrup; please don’t mix water and sugar and then pour it over fruit- bad things happen) and poured it over the berries. I was in a hurry, so I didn’t leave enough headspace (and flaming hot hilarity ensued later) so be sure to leave at least .5 inch of headspace. Ball has a nifty gadget that has a headspace measure on one end and the other is a bubble remover. Most people call those knives, but I feel the need to be technical.
Simmer your lids and use a lid wand to take them out of the water. Or tongs if you don’t have the fancy stuff. Or a magnet (but make sure the lids go in the pot seal side down so you don’t get shmutz on the lids). I had a mix of the traditional metal disposable canning lids and the reusable plastic Tattler lids. I’m kinda on the fence with those things. They do some strange things. I’ll write a review of them one of these days.
I processed them outside because even with the out of season fall weather- in July and August- why heat up the house if you have a propane burner to do it outside?!? I put them in a boiling bath canner and processed for 25 minutes at full rolling boil. I live at a whopping 413 feet above sea level (I know this because when I did archaeology it was such an aberration to take an elevation at anything other than 126 meters that you would get freakishly excited- 126 meters = 413 feet) so I didn’t have to do anything fancy with my time to make sure it processed properly.
When I pulled them out of the canner, I tipped them to the side like I always do to get the excess water off the lids. I was rewarded with an audible hissing sound and the stream of canning water turning into spraying flaming hot blood red syrup. Signs point to inadequate head space. And second degree burns.
By the time I was finished bringing them all in the kitchen it looked like I had slaughtered something and drug it in. Yay!! I tell you; between the canning and the occasional butchery of deer, squirrels, chickens and such in various parts of my yard, garage etc. I’m kinda shocked we have never had to explain ourselves to the police. Maybe the neighbors are scurred. o.O
If you try this, please remember to put a towel on the counter. You can crack a jar and send shards and hot liquid everywhere if you set them on a cold counter.
It’s a pretty easy, no fuss way to preserve berries for the winter without too much work. It would work with Blueberries too, but you really should poke the berries first. Because they explode if you don’t.