Black Raspberry Jelly

During the summer months I usually make two or three kinds of jams and jellies. When I was growing up the only jelly I ate was Welch’s Grape. I was a picky eater and did not realize all I was missing. This jelly has such a delicate flavor because you combine black raspberries and red raspberries. The berries for this recipe came from our back yard; our children do the picking. I use this jelly to fill crepes and for toast, but it is particularly good for the Browned Butter Thumbprint cookies I make at Christmastime. I will post that recipe in December.

This recipe belonged to my husband’s maternal grandmother. A few summer seasons ago I mentioned to my mother in law that we had a surplus of black raspberries and wondered if she would like some. She was so excited to have the berries because she loved her mother’s black raspberry jelly and had not sampled any since her Mother’s death. She got out her mother’s jelly recipe and made a batch. After the jelly had set she gave us a jar. It was excellent and I had to have the recipe. She came to our house a few days later and showed me how to make it. I was armed with my note pad and wrote detailed instructions as she worked. I am so glad I did this because, shortly thereafter, my mother in law was diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease and can no longer recall recipes and cook at the level she once did. Do not wait until it is too late to acquire the family recipes you love. Write them down and share them; it keeps the people you care for, and their food, with you always.

Black Raspberry Jelly – makes 8 half pint jars
2-1/2 c. fresh black raspberries
4-5 c. red raspberries
2 c. water
4-1/2 c. fruit juice from the berries
1 (2 oz.) pkg. powdered pectin
1/2 tsp. unsalted butter
6-1/2 c. sugar

In a 5-quart stockpot combine black and red raspberries with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, smashing the berries with a spoon against the sides of the pot to release their juice. Remove from heat and pour into a sieve sitting over a large 4 cup measuring cup. Let sit for 15 minutes. You will have about 3-1/2 cups of berry juice. Add enough water to make 4-1/2 cups of juice. Pour juice and pectin back into the stockpot. Bring to a rolling boil. Add butter and when it melts add sugar. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil 2 minutes. Pour jelly into 8 sterilized half pint jelly jars, wipe rim, screw on lids. Water bath for 10 minutes to seal jars.

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