Berry Jelly

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Berry JellyCrystal-clear jelly, made from just a fruit’s juice, is a delight on the shelf and even more so on the plate. Because all the pulp and pips are removed in the jelly-making process, jelly is an ideal solution for those of us who love the taste of bramble fruit, such as blackberries and raspberries, but don’t enjoy having the seeds catch in our teeth. For the most sparkling jelly, don’t boil the fruit or press on the jelly bag, which will cloud your juice.

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts berries (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin
  • 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons calcium water (from the Pomona’s Universal Pectin kit)

Directions

  1. Combine the berries and water in a medium nonreactive saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer for 5 minutes to release the fruit’s juices, being careful not to crush or press the fruit, which will cloud your jelly.
  2. Line a colander with a triple layer of cheesecloth, or have ready a jelly bag in its frame, and set either device over a bowl. (Tip: When using a jelly bag, insert it into the frame seam-side out for easier cleaning.) Remove the fruit from the heat and gently pour into your straining setup. Allow the cooked fruit to drain for at least 2 hours, until all the juice has been released. Do not press on the draining fruit.
  3. Combine the sugar and pectin in a small bowl.

    Straining the cooked fruit.

    Straining the cooked fruit.

  4. Measure 2 cups of the strained juice into a medium, nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil, and stir in the lemon juice and calcium water. Sprinkle in the pectin mixture, stirring constantly to disperse evenly. Return to a boil and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, to dissolve the mixture.
  5. Remove from the heat. Allow the jelly to rest for 5 minutes, giving it an occasional gentle stir to release trapped air; it will thicken slightly. Skim off any foam.
  6. To preserve, you can either cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks, or can as follows.

For Canning

Use the boiling-water method. Ladle the jam into clean, hot 4-ounce or ½-pint jars, leaving ¼-inch of headspace between the top of the jam and the lid. Run a bubble tool along the inside of the glass to release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands until they are just fingertip-tight. Process the jars by submerging them in boiling water to cover by 2 inches for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, and let the jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove the jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check the seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.