As a little girl, I used to visit my grandma and grandpa’s farm on the weekends. The place was very picturesque complete with cows grazing in the pasture and an old tire hanging from a tree limb that served as a joyous swing for my siblings and I.
Grandma was always cooking yummy things up in her kitchen. I distinctly remember her making a variety of foods to place into Mason jars and preserve. These jars would end up in the root cellar to be enjoyed during the harsh months of winter.
One item that grandma made every summer was blackberry jelly. Oh, the yummy memories of grandma’s jelly!
My grandma has since passed away, but I was the lucky one to inherit her big ‘ol book of recipe goodness. Her blackberry jelly recipe is present in the book and I’ll be sharing it with you all, today.
Her recipe is super easy to follow and is just 3 ingredients. I would have never guessed that grandma’s recipe contains so few ingredients because of how good it is.
I’ll also share how to properly can the blackberry jelly, so you and your family can enjoy it for months to come.
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Blackberry Jelly Recipe AND Canning Method
- 10 cups blackberries
- 1 package of dry pectin
- 5 cups can sugar
- Water bath canning pot
- 8 qt non-reactive pan
- Mason jars
- Jar grabber
- Spoon and ladle
- Cheesecloth-lined strainer or a jelly bag
Before you do anything in terms of blackberry jelly making, you need to sterilize your equipment. Fill your hot water bath canner with water and place it on the stove over high heat. Bring the water to a boil.
As you are waiting for the water to boil, wash your jars, lids, and rings in hot, soapy water and rinse.
Once the water is boiling you can carefully place the washed, hot jars, lids, and rings into the pot. Keep them boiling for about 10 minutes.
Keep the jars in hot water until they are ready to be used.
Now, it is time to prep your blackberries. I like to place mine in a large colander and run cold water over them. As I do this, I gently remove the stems, leaves, and any debris that may be clinging to them.
Once I’m done cleaning the berries, I place 1 cup at a time into the food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. I then poor the berries into a cheesecloth lined strainer or into a jelly bag and let the juice drip into another bowl. By the end, you should have about 3.5 cups worth.
Next, place the berries into the 8-quart pan and add the sugar and pectin. Stirring constantly, bring the jelly to a full rolling boil. Continue to boil and stir for 1 minute. Then, remove the pan from the heat and skim off any foam or bubbles that have formed.
Using the jar grabber, pluck your sanitized jars and lids from the hot water and bring the pot to a boil again. Ladle the hot jelly into the jars and leave about 1/8 inch of head space. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, slightly damp cloth. Place a hot lid and rim on top of the jar and tightly screw them on.
Canning the Jelly
Place the jars into the hot water bath canner when water is boiling and process for 10 minutes. Make sure you make the proper altitude adjusts per your hot water bath canner instruction manual. For instance, if you live 6,001 to 8,000 feet above sea level you will want to process the jars for 15 minutes.
Once the jars have been processed, remove them with your jar grabber and place them upright onto a towel or cooling rack. You need to allow the jars to completely cool before storing them. Plus, you want to be sure that they have fully sealed.
You can tell when you hear the lids begin to “pop”. Another way to tell if the lids have sealed is by pushing down on them with your finger. If the lid doesn’t pop up and down, then the jar has been sealed.
If after 24-hours the lids haven’t sealed, then you can either reprocess the jars using new lids or store the jelly in the refrigerator.
Label your jars and store (sealed) in a dark place for up to one year.
- Do not mix liquid and powdered pectin as these substances are not interchangeable
- NEVER double a jelly recipe. We aren’t sure why but for some odd reason a doubled recipe doesn’t set up as it should
- If you find your jelly to be watery and not setting up properly, chances are you didn’t use enough pectin
- If you are concerned about bacteria, add a little bit of lemon juice to the jelly before canning. Lemon juice creates an undesirable environment for bacteria to grow
- If you are experiencing weather that is of high humidity, consider making your jelly on another day
- Do not overcook your jelly or your pectin won’t work
Happy jelly making and canning!
Jessica Faidley is a stay-at-home, work-from-home, homeschooling mom who loves to teach her children how to live off the land.
Herbalism is another topic that Jessica has studied. Keeping herself and her family healthy through a natural approach is her way of doing things.
6 thoughts on “Cooking and Canning Blackberry Jelly – Old-Fashioned Goodness”
the juice is what you make the jelly out of! please don’t use the pulp or the seeds!
Could I make sugar free jelly using this recipe ( of course no sugar). Maybe use stevia or swerve? I have those on hand. And I gave a KitchenAid mixer attachment that can take the seeds out of the blackberries, would this work to get juice too? Thank you for your time!
I know I am responding to old comments, but in case anyone reading is still wondering…this is jelly, not jam, so you ONLY use the juice, NOT the fruit pulp. (Jam has fruit solids in it, but jelly is generally made from the juice alone.) Letting the juice drip through the cloth will take several hours. For the clearest jelly, do not squeeze the cloth, just let it drip. Also usually, with powdered pectin, you add the juice and the pectin first, bring it to a boil until the pectin dissolves, and then add the sugar later. And you usually cook jelly around 20-30 minutes, not just one minute, for a proper set. You can test the set by putting a few small plates in the freezer. When your jelly has cooked for awhile, pour a small spoonful on a frozen plate and see if it holds its shape. Drag a toothpick through the drop on the frozen plate and see if the line stays…if the jelly runs into the gap, it’s not ready. Cook it longer, then try the test again.
I read your recipe with some smiles along the way. We have been canning all sorts of berry jam and jelly for many years. First, a food processor will turn the seeds into an emulsion that is very gritty. The best way to prepare the fruit is to use a horizontal colander and remove the seeds and stems. Your have already washed them I suppose. The difference between jam and jelly is the pulp. All of the sanitizing is not necessary. The cooking of the jelly will do that. But they do need to be clean. A dishwasher does a good job on that. A 1/8th inch header is not enough. The best gauge of how much space to leave is just fill the jar up to the neck top. This is about 1/2 inch. After the bottles are processed, if the jar is not sealed, by touching the lid will give a false indication that it is sealed. Any processed sugar will do. You can also use brown sugar and honey which will produce much different results, both in taste and runny texture. You must have much more time to do many batches than we do. We almost always triple the recipe and sometimes more. It just may take another package or two of pectin and a much larger pan for the cooking and a speedier processing time to get it bottled.
Have fun and after some practice you will know what works for you.
How do we removed the seeds in making canned jelly? The cheesecloth just removes the liquid but not the seeds. Also, do we throw the juice away that we strain off or do we heat it and put it in with the sugar and pectin? I am new to this so need help!!
Hi Novice here, 2 questions. Is the sugar supposed to be cane sugar,can sugar,unknown to me or just refined sugar? What becomes of the drained 3.5 cups of juice? Thanks Al