Fall is slowly creeping up on the southern hemisphere. This morning was one of the first cold mornings since spring. I must say I am sad to see the summer go because it is so beautiful here. Though, out of everything this area has to offer in the summer I think I may miss the berries the most. I have never lived in an area where berries were so abundant.
The blackberries here are literally growing everywhere like weeds. The locals say that they were brought over form Europe and have spread uncontrollably. I guess that is one of the reasons for Chile’s strict importation laws on agriculture. I can’t say that I blame them. Even if I love the berries and love having them everywhere, I can see that as a grounds keeper or landowner they would be a big nuisance.
Berries have always been near the top of my favorite foods list. Ironically, the berry company we used to buy raspberries from at Costco, Driscoll’s, is here in Chile and we have passed it. So much of the produce shipped to the northern hemisphere comes from Chile it’s unbelievable.
I am getting very spoiled because a good friend of ours has a beautiful berry garden right next door. She grows blueberries (arándanos) and raspberries (frambuesas) and has so graciously invited us to pick whenever we want.
Her berries are SO good! I feel like I should be on the TV show Hoarders because I have been picking them all summer and storing as many as I can jam into the freezer. I have also been making all kinds of recipes with them.
Today I wanted to try a very simple jelly without pectin.
I had never done it with the blueberries and I wasn’t sure how it would be, but it turned out really good and it’s so basic.
- 4 - 5 cups of blueberries
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Put blueberries in a shallow pot or medium pan with water and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 2-3 minutes then reduce heat to simmer.
- When berries start to lose their shape and darken add the sugar and salt and continue cooking until it starts to thicken then remove from heat.
- By now it should be fairly smooth but if you want ultra smooth you can always put it in a blender or food processor. we don't mind the small chunks.
- Keep in mind that it will continue to thicken after it cools, more than you think. If it is too thick, simply add water 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want.