Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blackberry Chianti Jelly

Blackberries and wine
I am so addicted to this jelly, it is embarrassing. It is not an easy jelly to make and it seems like it takes forever. It uses a lot of blackberries and you don't get that much jelly from them. In a word it is a pain. But it is so amazingly good. Actually, it is beyond good. We have already gone through 1 1/2 jars which was my first batch. I just made four more jars and when the pick-your-own blackberry farm is open in August, I am sure I will make more. You can use any red wine for this jelly. I happen to have a soft spot for Chianti.

Blackberry Chianti Jelly

1 Lbs of Blackberries
3/4 (180 ml) Cups of Red Wine
Sugar (1 Cup (213 g) of Sugar per 1 Cup (240 ml) of Strained Juice)

Weigh or measure blackberries. Rinse blackberries and place in a sauce pan. Add red wine (for each pound of blackberries add 3/4 (180 ml) cup of wine). Simmer until soft. Using an immersion blender or ricer or fork mash the blackberries.
Mashing the blackberries

Place in cheesecloth or in a tight weave strainer and strain overnight. Discard the seeds and pulp.
Straining the blackberries

Measure the strained liquid and place in a large saucepan. Add the sugar (see ratio above). Stir the mixture over low heat until the sugar is dissolved and then turn to medium high. Stir frequently until the mixture hits the setting point. (See note below). Remove the jelly from the heat and skim any foam off of the surface.
Cooking the blackberry, red wine, and sugar mixture
Pour into hot glass 1/2 pint (236 ml) jars (sterilized). Place lids on the jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. OR place in sterilized jars, refrigerate and use within a month.
Blackberry jelly
Note about the setting point: I don't know about you but my mom made jams, jellies, and preserves. I barely remember them. I know they were good and unfortunately the love of jams passed on to me but the knowledge didn't. I think I was too young when my mom stopped making jellies to have the second-nature understanding of the "setting point". I am sure that my mom could look at a boiling mixture and tell if the setting point has been reached. I can't so here is what I do. If anyone else out there has a better method, I would love to hear about it.
  1. I use a candy thermometer and the setting point has been reached at 220F/104C. This is somewhat deceiving because I have stopped when I thought the jelly point was reached and the jelly didn't set. I now have an additional step. 
  2. I place a plate in the freezer and as the temperature approached 220F/104C, I take the plate out and place a small amount of the jelly on the plate. When it cools, I move it around on the plate and if there is no resistance the plate goes back in the freezer. When I think the setting point has been reached, I take the plate back out of the freezer. Again, I place a small amount of jelly on the plate. Once it cools, I push it with m finger, if it wrinkles, the jelly has reached the setting point. I think it is important to test the jelly before the setting point is reached so it is easier to tell the difference.  (As you can tell from the plate below, I tested for the setting point multiple times before it was reached).
I use a cold plate to determine if the mixture has reached the jelly stage
The bottom line: Will I make this again? Yes, this is a great jelly. The better question is: Will I complain while I make it? Yes, I will do that too.

1 comment:

  1. Eating is really one of my hobby i mean part of my life and cooking is my passion. I also love going to a place and at the same time taste their delicious and most wanted food.I want to taste something that is new to my palate. Thanks for sharing your article with us.