Article by Linda Crum, Montgomery County Master Gardener
Late August and beginning September the American Beautyberry berries are turning a beautiful color purple.The Birds are watching. This is one of the favorities of the Cardinals. If you don’t hurry there will be nothing left to make this delicious Jelly.
Linda Crum’s Beautyberry Jelly:
- Harvest and clean 8 cups of beauty berries
- Place berries in a large pot on stove
- Add 4 cups water and boil for 20 minutes. Allow to cool
- Place a cheesecloth-covered sieve over a bowl. Pour the boiled berries through the cheesecloth; mash to get 3 cups juice; add water to make 3 cups, if necessary. Discard any particles that don’t go through cheesecloth.
- Pour the juice through another sieve with a cheesecloth into a large pot.
- Add 1 package Sure Jell pectin in yellow box (do not use liquid Certo) and ½ pat butter. Bring to a rolling boil.
- Stir in 4 ½ cups sugar and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Skim off foam.
- Pour into 6 half-pint jars.
- Process the jars in boiling water for 5 minutes to sterilize and preserve.
It is a tedious process to wash and clean the berries so if you cannot complete the whole process in one day, after you put juice through second sieve with cheese cloth, put the pot in the refrigerator and finish the processing the next day.
Important: use a large pot to cook the berries. Do not double the recipe unless your pot is deep and large. You will have a mess on the stove. Ask me how I know.