While my oldest son was visiting, we spent some time talking and picking berries. This was a very casual act of foraging unlike the foraging marathons of my childhood. I’m happy with this as it provided an opportunity for conversation and since I am the only one in my household who will be eating this jam, I don’t need to strip the bushes clean. I hope the bears and the birds are grateful.
Over the course of a couple of sessions, I picked 1 kg of berries. I’m a little tired of picking seeds out of my teeth so this year I devised a jelly recipe for my small batch of saskatoons.
Wash the saskatoons (about 1 kg) in a colander and remove all the leaves, bugs, and bad berries you can find.
Dump the berries into a heavy bottomed pot and add about 1/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Boil until you can see the juices coming out of the berries and the whole thing smells like summer.
Wrap the cooked berries in cheesecloth and drain over a mixing bowl. I placed a colander over my mixing bowl and placed my bundle of berries in that.
Let drain overnight. DO NOT squeeze the bag. Its tempting but it will affect the clarity of the final product.
Drain till you have 1¾ cups of juice. You can pour a little boiling water (about 1/4 cup) over your berry bundle if you are short. You could also add another type of juice to make 1¾ cups. I thought about using orange juice.
To your juice add:
2 Tablespoons + 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
3 ¾ cups sugar
1 teaspoon of butter (to reduce foaming)
add berry juice, lemon juice, sugar, and butter to a heavy pot. Bring to a boil.
Add 1 pouch of liquid pectin. Boil hard for one minute.
Remove from heat. Add 1 teaspoon of butter to decrease foaming. Skim off foam.
Using sterile equipment, spoon your jelly into sterilized jars and add lids and rings.
Process in a waterbath canner for 10 minutes, depending on your altitude.
yield – 3 125ml jars.