Myrna’s Blackberry Jelly

Posted by on Friday, July 31st, 2009


There are some foods that Mom can make better than anyone else.  I’ve never had a biscuit that came close to rivaling my Mom’s home made ones.  I’ve never had fried chicken that was better than hers either.  And I’ve yet to meet anyone who went to all the trouble to pick, seed, and can home made black berry jelly – other than Mom.  So it is no surprise that the thought of blackberry jelly brings back happy memories and puts a smile on my face.  We ALWAYS had blackberry jelly in the pantry growing up.  And hardly a week ever went by that my lips and blackberry jelly weren’t together in harmony with Mom’s home made biscuits.

I’ve wanted to give blackberry jelly a try for a few years now.  This year, I decided to put on my big girl panties and just GO FOR IT!  I’ll admit that I didn’t brave the wild, the chiggers, and the July heat and humidity to go pick my own.  I cheated by purchasing the tame blackberries from the Mennonites.


But the berries and I came to understand each other, and I was so pleased how the jelly turned out.  I don’t necessarily expect anyone to rush out and pick berries to make jelly, but I am recording the process here for posterity’s sake.  I hope Mom will be proud of me for passing along this tasty tradition to future generations.  I give you Myrna’s Blackberry Jelly:

Probably the hardest step in the blackberry jelly process is removing the seeds from the berries.  Mom used to gently boil the berries with just a little water, and then strain the juice through a large strainer.  This step could also be done using cheesecloth.  However, I was able to shortcut this step by running the whole berries through our juicer.  I had 4 containers of berries and the whole process only took a couple of minutes.  I also doubled the recipe below.


The recipe:

  • 3 ¾ cups blackberry juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon butter
  • 1 box SURE JELL
  • 5 cups sugar – measure and set aside to add to boiling juice

Prepare lids rings and jars according to manufacturer’s instructions.  I like to sterilize my jars in the dishwasher on SANITIZE/HIGH TEMP cycle.  I place the rings and lids in a steaming pot of water for a few minutes, and leave them in the hot water until ready to seal the jars.

Next, prepare fruit juice by removing the seeds as mentioned above.  Measure the EXACT amount of juice liquid in an 8 quart pot.  Up to ½ cup water may be added to the juice to reach the exact amount of liquid.  Add SURE-JEL, lemon juice and butter.  Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop when stirred) oh high heat, stirring constantly.  When mixture reaches a full rolling boil, quickly add sugar and continue stirring constantly for one minute.  Remove from heat. Skim off any foam.

Ladle jelly mixture quickly into prepared jars to within 1/8 inch from jar top.  Wipe jar and threads.  Cover with lid and ring.  Screw bands tightly.  Place jars on elevated rack in a ready water canner (a ready water canner has steaming water in it– enough to cover jars by 1-2 inches when rack is lowered. More boiling water may be added if needed).  Lower rack and cover canner, and bring water to a gentle boil.  Process the jelly for 5 minutes. Higher altitudes require different processing times.  Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely.  After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger.  If lid springs back, jar is not properly sealed and refrigeration is required.  Let jelly stand at room temperature for 24 hours.  Store unopened jelly in a cool, dry, dark place for up to a year.  Refrigerate opened jelly for up to 3 weeks.

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Myrna’s Blackberry Jelly

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Filed in Canning | 12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Myrna’s Blackberry Jelly”

  1. Sharon Pustejovskyon 31 Jul 2009 at 12:29 pm 1

    This explains a lot about blackberry jelly-making. I never knew about the process of removing the seeds. We love blackberry jam and jelly at our house!

  2. Taraon 01 Aug 2009 at 6:46 pm 2

    Sharon are you planning to make jam or jelly with the berries you bought at Kelly’s?

  3. Sharon Pustejovskyon 30 Nov 2009 at 6:22 pm 3

    Yes, we made jam with the berries we picked at Kelly’s. I made several jars, using the whole berry. Next time I will try removing the seeds and go for the jelly. Blackberries are very affordable at Kroger right now. Maybe I’ll try it now. Thanks for your recipe!

  4. […] 3 tablespoons Myrna’s Blackberry Preserves […]

  5. Taraon 09 Jun 2010 at 5:51 am 5

    Hi Rhonda,

    Thanks for bringing the important detail to add SURE-JEL to the jelly! And yes that would go in with the juice for the first boiling. My mind must have checked out while I typed the recipe.

    After comparing this recipe with the one in the box of SURE-JEL, I find the only difference is the amount of sugar. And it is no surprise to me that my mother’s recipe called for more.

  6. annon 17 Jul 2010 at 6:43 am 6

    For those of you who don’t want the smooth consistency of jelly but also don’t want the seediness of a preserve or jam you can seed just half of the berries. A nice compromise for many.

  7. Lolaloon 29 Jun 2011 at 9:00 pm 7

    On Sunday, my husband and I picked blackberries and I made blackberry jelly in the afternoon. There is nothing like fresh, homemade blackberry jelly. I’m going to pick more tomorrow to make blackberry jam. Plus, I have enough in the freezer to make a blackberry cobbler in the Dutch Oven while camping this upcoming weekend. MMmmmm…….
    When I was growing up, my Dad, my Aunt, and I picked blackberries on the 4th of July every year. Then my Mom and I were busy making blackberry jelly the next day. And I was usually covered with chiggers!

  8. Taraon 30 Jun 2011 at 8:06 pm 8

    My mom used to get covered in chiggars too. Thankfully, I can drive 5 miles to a berry farm and purchase them already picked.

  9. Kellyon 27 Apr 2012 at 5:49 pm 9

    I wish I can find the best way of washing cause I washed and washed and waited and washed and to mo avail I would what looked like a magnet to me so really need suggestions because not very appetizing!!!

  10. Kellyon 27 Apr 2012 at 5:51 pm 10

    To no avail would find what looked like a magnet inching to escape! Help this isn’t appetizing at all!

  11. Taraon 30 Apr 2012 at 7:37 am 11

    HI Kelly, unfortunately, this is just part of the process of dealing with fresh foods and canning. I’ve had the same thing happen when making cherry preserves too. ICK! As careful as I try to be on the lookout for those pests when handling my berries – sometimes one gets by me.

    Soaking the produce in a sink of water with a cup of vinegar will certainly help naturally disinfect the berries but I do not know of anything else to use that would kill the larve that would allow the fruit to be safe to eat.

  12. rita crumpon 12 Jul 2014 at 12:57 pm 12

    does this recipe count for blk berries grown unwild or tame berries.i need to know if it applies to them also