My Black Raspberry-Apple Spread is much like a jam, and more of a cross between Black Raspberry Preserves and Apple Jelly. I have a huge Black Raspberry bush that grows bigger every year, but also gets bigger from all of the wild bushes that pop up all over our small piece of property in a city. Every year I walk around the yard digging up all the new little bushes that sprout up and add them to our existing bush. And every year we get to the point where we have huge amounts of Black Raspberries, and it becomes hard to actually eat them all. I can’t stand letting food go to waste, especially free food that pops up in my yard every year with very little effort on my part.
Last year I started making my own Apple Jelly from apple juice, so this year when the Black Raspberries started overflowing our refrigerator, I came up with my Black Raspberry-Apple Spread. The Black Raspberries have a tendency to be kind of tart, so when you cook with them, you need to add them in small quantities or add large amounts of sugar. The Apple Jelly that I make is sweet enough to add a large amount of Black Raspberries to that the two balance out perfectly.
This recipe will work well with both Water Bath Canning as well as Freezer Canning.
You will need:
4 Cups of Black Raspberries
1/2 Cup of Lemon Juice
1 Can of Frozen or Canned Apple Juice from the Juice Isle
2 Packs of Fruit Pectin
5 Cups of Sugar
10 1/2 Pint Mason Jars
10 New Canning Lids with Rings
10 1/2 Pint Freezer Containers with Lids
Prepare the canning jars of choice according to specific instructions that come with the jars, before I start, I put all of my mason jars with the lids and rings in the dishwasher and run a hot rinse cycle over them. Even if the cycle is done before the jam is done, they will stay hot enough in a closed dishwasher to process the jars.
Cook the Black Raspberries on the stove over medium to medium-high heat until they have all cooked down into a thick sauce. There will still be some berry chunks, and that is OK. It will take about 10 minutes to cook them all down.
Add the can of Frozen Apple Juice, with only 2 cans of water. Usually the frozen fruit juices will call for 3 cans of water, but the cooked berries will more than make up for the last can of water. If you were to mix the frozen juice in a pitcher with water, it would be about 1 quart total. Mix the berries and juice well.
Add the lemon juice and mix well.
Add the fruit pectin and mix well. Stir almost constantly over medium-high heat until all the pectin has dissolved. This usually takes about 20 minutes. After about 20 minutes, bring the mixture to a strong rolling boil.
Add the sugar to the boiling mixture, stirring constantly until it returns to a rolling boil. You will need to keep it at a good hard boil for 3 minutes, stirring the entire time. It is very easy for it to boil over if you do not continuously stir it, so don’t walk away.
You can skim away foam if you wish. When I make my jellies and spreads, I normally turn off the heat and gently stir for a minute or so until the foam has died down and is mixed back into the preserves. I can’t see wasting any part of the delicious fruit spread!
Pour the mixture into your Mason Jars of Freezer Containers, leaving about 1/4 of an inch of space at the top of the jar. Add the lids and rings and follow canning directions that come with your canning or freezer jars, along with the fruit pectin you use.
For the most part, if you are using the Water Bath canning process, you will need to return the water in the water bath to boiling and then process for 10 minutes. You may have to adjust the time due to higher elevations, follow the directions that come with the jars or pectin that you use. You will need at least 1-2 inches of water to cover the top of the canning jars.
After the fruit spread has processed completely, set the jars on a towel and let sit untouched for 12-24 hours. Do not touch the jars for at least 12 hours to ensure a good seal.
Don’t forget to leave one jar out for immediate use, Yum! Enjoy!
A Few Variations and Ideas:
You can use less sugar if you would like, for this amount of preserves, you would normally use 6 cups of sugar with 2 packs of pectin to get a good thick gel. I like to use 4-5 cups of sugar, depending on the type of jelly I am using.
You can add a little bit more water when mixing in the apple juice, but adding too much will make it too watery.
I have used as little as 3 cups of sugar with my apple jelly, and it came out too thin and watery.
I have not tried this recipe with the No Sugar Add Fruit Pectin, if this is the pectin, you may have to experiment with this a little bit.