Blackberry Preserves

On the subject of berries, Tom Morales has fond memories. "Collecting blackberries was always a family outing. It was quite a job to protect ourselves from the thorns." He adds, "Berries are a vital part of Southern food lore. Mama Lovorn, my wife's grandmother, who is in her 90s and tells firsthand stories about her grandfather's stories of the Civil War, explained why the sumac berry turns red in the fall. Because it has sugar in it,' she said. But why does it turn red?' we asked. She answered, So the birds in the sky can see it."

  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 15 Servings
  • 4 cups blackberries fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Gently rinse the blackberries with cold water. Set in the sink and let dry.
  • Put the berries in a large pot with the sugar. Let sit for 2 hours or until the blackberries release their juices. Bring the blackberries to a simmer on medium heat for 30 to 45 minutes. Gently stir; cook the berries until reduced by half or the mixture reaches jam thickness.
  • Jar the preserves right out of the kettle, filling each jar to the top. Place a top on each jar as tight as possible.

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