My husband and I moved to the country side several years ago. We like being in place where we can have more ‘freedom’; freedom to hang/dry clothes outside under the free sun-dryer, freedom to have a garden, and a much less city/community regulations to deal with. We can’t help but count the blessings we have around us here; free fresh air, larger area for our fruit trees, vineyard, and garden, and beautiful nature and creatures surrounding us. We are also blessed to have free seasonal fruits wildly growing in our land property, like wild Persimmons, Blackberries and Muscadine grapes. Last year and in the previous year I was able to preserve some wild Blackberries and Muscadine grapes.
This time I am sharing with you how I can my blackberry fruits (for juice concentrate) using water bath canning. You can also can Blackberry jam, sauce or plain using water bath (water boiling) process.
THINGS YOU’LL NEED for WATER BATH CANNING:
canning pot with a rack (If you do not have a canning pot with a rack, you may use a regular big pot, place a folded towel at the bottom of the pot to prevent jars from breaking. If you have a pressure canner you can use it as well but you do not need to tight-lock the cover during the process.)
1. Check canning jars for nicks, cracks, and sharp edges (feeling it with your finger tips. Do not reuse damaged jars, dented lids and rusty rings). Wash and sterilize mason jars, lids and bands in hot water. Do not wash lids with soap. Washing the jars in a dishwasher will make the job faster. Keep jars hot and clean until it’s needed.
2. Boil 3-4 quarts (12-16 cups) or more depending on your need of water for about 3 minutes.
3. Wash and drain fresh blackberries.
4. Put in each jar about 2 cups or half a jar of blackberries. Put 1 to 2 teaspoon sugar.
5. Using a canning funnel fill each jar with boiling water leaving about one inch space from the top.
6. Wipe jar rims (opening area) with clean damp cloth.
7. Place lids and band tight, but not too tight.
8. Put ready-to-process jars in the canning rack. Place in the canner.
9. Fill canner with hot water covering about an inch above the jars. You may use the hot water you just used in sterilizing the canning jars.
10. Cover the water bath canner.
11. Set the heat on high until water boils.
12. Reduce heat to medium and let it process for 15 minutes.
13. After the process lift the cover away from you to prevent hot steam from your face or arms.
14. Using a jar lifter slowly lift each jar and place it on a towel or metal rack away from sudden temperature change or draft.
15. As the jars cool off, you will hear a popping sound as the air inside the jars create a vacuum sealing the food inside.
16. When the jars have cooled off, check each jars. Sealed jars should have sucked down lids/cover. Unsealed jars are bulged. You can feel it with your fingers.
17. Remove bands (If you must keep the bands/rings on the you should wipe it dry otherwise it will rust. It is wise to remove the rings because it’s reusable). Put label, dates, names and store in a cool, dry place.
18. You can reprocess the content of the unsealed jars by transferring it to a different clean mason jar, using a different lid OR you may refrigerate or consume the food right away.
You now have a freshly canned blackberry juice ready to use whenever you want. It is best to wait for a few months before you use the content inside to give it time to ferment. Dilute each jar of canned blackberry juice with 2-3 cups of water. Mix with sugar, ice cubes or other real juice of your choice… And enjoy!
Note: After draining the juice, you can refill the jar with water with the blackberry pieces inside and let it soak inside the refrigerator. You should be able to use the juice after a few days. Juice concentration may be less but it’s still good. 🙂