Friday, June 17, 2011

Berry Harvesting Tips

Pick boysenberries when dark purple and green tops have begun to turn brown. An easy way to remove the tops from the berries is to fill a sink with water and place the berries in the full sink. The tops will float to the top and can easily be skimmed off. Drain the berries in a colander or on paper towels.

If the harvest is plentiful, freeze in zip lock bags. Frozen berries can be used at a later date for pies, smoothies or to make jam. I've listed my favorite jam recipe below - hope you enjoy!

Boysenberry Jam
Ingredients: 5 cups crushed berries, 4 cups sugar, 1 package pectin
  1. Bring boiling water canner, half-full with water to simmer
  2. Wash jam jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling
  3. Prepare fruit - for berries, crush 1 cup at a time, using a potato masher for best results.
  4. Measure exact amount of prepared fruit into 8 quart saucepot
  5. Measure exact amount of sugar in separate bowl
  6. Mix 1/4 cup sugar from measured amount and 1 package pectin in a small bowl
  7. Stir pectin sugar mixture into fruit; add 1/2 tsp butter or margarine to reduce foaming if desired
  8. Bring mixture to full rolling boil; stir constantly
  9. Stir in remaining sugar quickly. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam.
  10. Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops.
  11. Process in canner according to canner instructions

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