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Blackberry And Apple Syrup

3 1/2 quarts blackberries - (about 4 lbs) (or loganberries or marionberries)
2 1/3 cups apple juice
Granulated sugar -- see * Note
1/2 cup lemon juice


* Note: Measure the juice. For each 2 1/3 cups juice, measure out 1 cup sugar.


Combine the berries and apple juice in a large nonaluminum saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over very low heat for 20 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Mash with a potato masher.


Line a sieve with several layers of damp cheesecloth. Strain the juice into a nonaluminum bowl. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth and lightly squeeze to extract as much juice as possible.


Pour the juice back into the saucepan, add the sugar and stir over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Stir in the lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool for at least 5 minutes, then pour into clean hot jars or bottles. Or pour the syrup into ice cube trays, leaving enough room for expansion. When frozen, turn the cubes out into plastic bags and keep in the freezer.


For longer storage: Ladle the hot syrup into 1 hot, clean canning jar at a time (for this recipe, you will probably use either four half-pint (8 ounce) jars, or two pint jars, but have another 8 ounce jar on hand in case it's needed), leaving 1/2- inch head space. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.


This recipe yields about 1 quart, or 2 pints, or 4 half-pints.


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