Let me start by saying that buying my Roma food mill was the wisest thing I think I’ve ever done! If you don’t have a food mill, I highly recommend one for getting the seeds out of those berries or for just squashing the fruits up a bit if you prefer. It’s also a great tool when canning tomatoes.
I always start my jelly making by of course washing the berries and then running them through the food mill. Here are some pictures of what that process looks like and what you will see left over. On this particular day I started with blackberries first.
I repeat this process many times. As you can see in the last picture there is still a lot of juice after one time through. No waste here! I will run it through the mill 5-6 times at least.
After getting the juice all out I can now go on to clean up a bit and repeat the process with my blueberries and store all my juice in the refrigerator and make jelly the next day. Or I can begin making jelly now. It really just depends on the time I have and what I have to do that day. Either way works just fine.
On to the jelly making! The main point here is how much easier it is with a food mill. I’m not going to tell you one recipe is better than another but I will tell you that I use a lower sugar recipe and am currently experimenting with fruit juices to go lower and even no sugar. (3 cups is as little sugar as I could use without adding more pectin.) I will let you know how that goes! But this is the recipe I use currently.
6 cups of mashed berries or juice
3- 3 1/2 cups sugar or sugar equivalent
4 Tbsp. pectin
Place juice mixture in a large pot. Combine 1/4 cup sugar with 1 Tbsp pectin. Stir into juice mixture as you bring it to a boil. Add the remaining sugar slowly to reduce foaming. Bring to a second boil. Let boil for one minute. Remove from heat let stand 5 minutes and do a gel check. If it is the consistency you like funnel into jars. Process in a water bath 10 minutes.
Helpful hints: Adding 1 tsp butter will help avoid foam. Wipe the top and rim of jars before putting on lids and rings. Don’t over tighten rings.
Gel check: Put a spoon in a glass of cold water, dip a small amount of jelly out and let cool. Does it slide off or stay on? If it stays on and appears gel like, it’s good!