|blueberries look great|
They were, on the other hand, picking "excellent". Black berries hung in huge bunches from every vine in row after row of berries. This leads to an almost impulsive picking frenzy, I think.... you say, I've got plenty, but then, making to leave, you see another beautiful bunch and, naturally, have to take that one too. So, we ended up with nearly 3.5lbs of raspberries, which have a much shorter lifespan than blueberries.
|Black raspberries were plentiful and easy to pick|
|Folks picking at Larriland Farms|
Given the pile of berries I had, I decided to try making some freezer jam this afternoon. Ok, in all honesty, I saw these cool looking freezer jam containers at the store and now I needed to use them. Besides, I was curious how we would like the taste of fresh jam, when we are so used to the cooked fruit jams. Hands down, the freezer jam wins on time. From start to finish, it took me 15 minutes (!!) to make and jar two half-pints of blueberry jam. Another 15 minutes for the black raspberry. And included in that time was running the fruit through the food mill to remove the seeds and skins. So, I actually made black raspberry jelly. I never make jelly; way too much work.
In this case, all you do is crush your fruit. I ran through mine a food mill... the blueberry with a large opening to remove the skins and the raspberries with a fine opening to remove seeds. A few minutes later I had the requisite 1-2/3 cups crushed fruit. In a bowl, mix 2/3 cups sugar with 2 Tbsp of instant pectin. Add the fruit and mix by hand for three minutes. Pour into containers. Let set. Ta-da! Jam. It took about 30 minutes for a light set of the jam, and a few hours later, they have a nice thick consistency, better than I tend to get with canning. You can probably do 4-6 jars at once, but I wanted to check this all out first, so I just did a few. Absolutely fabulous.
|blueberries in the food mill|
|The food mill separates the pulp from the skins|
|Add the pulp to the sugar and pectin, mix, and you are done !|