Friday, July 24, 2015

Black Raspberry Jam

We have nearly always found enough wild black raspberries scattered around the property to enjoy eating with our morning cereal or over vanilla ice cream.  Other wild plants would drive the berries out of one location but we would find them elsewhere.  Three years ago six cultivated plants were ordered from Miller Nurseries.  Five made the adjustment to our harsher climate and this year we have berries in abundance.  Homemade jam made with our berries sounded great but how does one deal with all of those seeds?

Tucked away in the back of a basement closet was a still in the box Squeezo.  Designed nearly one century ago, we had to give it a try.  The many parts do assemble into a workable unit although we have yet to get the sequence right on the first try.  Following the clearly written directions with pictures would make that task a cinch.  Dump a small amount of berries into the hopper and turn the crank.  Seedless pulp pours down the chute while the seeds exit at the end.  If the hopper is filled with berries, juice will squeeze out where the hopper slides into the main unit.  Black cap juice will stain a cement floor.

We did manage to fill four jars with enough left over to try on tomorrow's toast.  These may be the most expensive jars of jam on the planet.  It appears that Ball has discontinued manufacturing jars for freezer jam.  Merchants with this item still in stock are trying to cash in with exorbitant prices.  We did find some priced at three for five dollars.  We refuse to do the math for the remaining ingredients. This jam will taste great mid winter.  Its cost will not be considered.  We will be able to look back on the time spent picking the berries and remembering watching a mother turkey jump up to grab a berry for her breakfast.

Squeezo cleanup is another issue.  Processing two quarts of fruit makes the same mess as processing two gallons.  Everything is moved outside for the first round of cleanup.  The cone that allows the pulp to pass through while holding the seeds inside is the most difficult piece to clean.  High pressure water and a brush will ultimately leave the cone clean.

At the present time we have ten jars of black raspberry jam in the freezer.  It is likely that we will make this mess one more time this year.  The balance of the fruit will be eaten with breakfast or placed over ice cream.  From a taste point of view, this is one of the high points in eating what we grow.

1 comment:

Indie said...

Oh, yum! I planted raspberry canes this year, and can't wait until we start getting lots of raspberries! We'll have to somehow pick more than my kids can eat if I want jam, though :) We have a couple wild blackberry canes in our woods, but not many. That is too bad it is so hard to find freezer jam jars - that seems so useful too!