I love picking berries! Yes I do.
On Saturday I spent a couple hours picking enough chokecherries to make about 21 jars of jelly, many of which I will give away.
It was sunny and warm with a tinge of coolness in the air. Everything is still very lush and green but the trees are showing early signs of what’s to come. They look stressed, bug-eaten, and with some yellow leaves peeking out here and there. This is my favourite time of year … it’s still summer, but a bit cooler, and there’s so many wonderful fruits and vegetables available.
So after two hours of picking, one hour of washing and sorting, and four hours of cooking, here’s my reward.
I thought I would include the recipe I use. It’s straight from the Certo package and I never stray from the directions. Chokecherry jelly can be quite tricky. It can either not set at all, or become too hard. I seem to have luck if I do exactly as the recipe states.
- 3 cups prepared juice
- 6 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 pouches Certo Liquid Pectin
- To make the juice combine 12 cups chokecherries with 3 cups water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Pour into a colander lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Bring edges of cheesecloth together gently (careful it is HOT, so hot that I use rubber gloves and even then it is HOT) and let the juice drip. You can squeeze the bag gently but try not to ... you only need 3 cups of juice.
- In a large saucepan stir together juice and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil hard 1 minute then at once remove from heat and add pectin. Stir and skim any froth for 5 minutes.
- Pour into sterilized jars and seal with sterilized lids.