Vegetables and Fruit forum: Beautyberry Jelly

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Sep 25, 2012 2:58 PM CST

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The beautyberries are in full fruit right now and it's time to make jelly from this highly useful plant!

Picking the berries:
Thumb of 2012-09-25/dave/a5c564

Measure out 6 cups of berries, wash and pick out any trash:
Thumb of 2012-09-25/dave/00b9f1

Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil for 20 minutes:
Thumb of 2012-09-25/dave/6a33f6

Then mash and boil another 10 minutes. Then strain through a fine cloth. I ended up with about a quart of liquid.
Thumb of 2012-09-25/dave/c5e6b2

Bring back to a boil, add 4.5 cups of sugar (yes, that much). Add your pectin.
Thumb of 2012-09-25/dave/926b4d

Ten minutes in the boiling water bath and you're done!
Thumb of 2012-09-25/dave/b8859b

This batch yielded 3 and a half pints. Initial taste tests indicate positive results!! Smiling
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
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CDsSister
Sep 25, 2012 5:56 PM CST

Nice to see the men in the kitchen. Hurray! Hurray!

Never heard of Beautyberry. What does it taste like? Must be a bit sour to require that much sugar.

I looked it up in the database but does not truly describe it.


Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Sep 26, 2012 1:17 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

It's hard to describe the flavor of this. It's earthy and maybe a little musty. I wouldn't describe it as "delicious" but more interesting and unique. Smiling
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Sep 26, 2012 2:13 PM CST
I had no idea they were for human consumption! I have three large bushes and they're bending over from the weight of the berries after a short, but heavy downpour. You had me until "earthy and musty."
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Sep 26, 2012 3:51 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Sandi, you can eat them raw. They have a mealy texture because of the seeds inside. If you give it a taste you'll get a pretty good sense of its flavor. The jelly is, of course, much better than the raw berries.

I might be inaccurate calling it musty. It's not really musty, just very hard for me to describe. Certainly unique!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Sep 26, 2012 4:13 PM CST
I'll be brave and pick a few.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Sep 26, 2012 4:14 PM CST

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You could eat just one little berry to get a sense of the flavor. Smiling
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Sep 26, 2012 4:17 PM CST
Reminds me of uncooked mushrooms, but with a hint of sweet.
Earthy like that.
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Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Sep 26, 2012 4:56 PM CST
Cool...I have always loved the beautyberry because my "color" is purple and shades there of. Who knew they were OK for humans!? Now I do. Might just have to try it when things are more "normal" here. Thanks, Dave for the heads up and receipe I tip my hat to you.
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Sep 26, 2012 6:15 PM CST
Tried some, but only one at a time because of the seeds. Couldn't discern a flavor. I will try again , but smash some first. I plan to take a few branches to my garden club mtg tomorrow night.
Love having the tutorial to follow if I get brave enough to try making the jelly. Wonder if it would work as freezer jelly?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Sep 26, 2012 7:34 PM CST

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I can't say, Sandi. This is actually my very first foray into jelly making! I put the instructions/recipe together from research I did online, starting mostly with Green Dean's eattheweeds.com website. I will be curious what your fellow garden club friends think of it!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Sep 26, 2012 7:39 PM CST
I will report back.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Sep 27, 2012 11:42 AM CST
I have Beautyberry shrubs in my yard because I think the berries are really pretty plus the backyard birds eat them come fall and winter. I never thought to try to eat any myself.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Sep 28, 2012 2:57 PM CST
Reporting back about the beautyberry taste testing at garden club mtg. Everyone I asked to try the berries said the same thing, "Can you really eat them?" All of them (about 10 that I counted) said the first bit of juice was sweet and they were surprised. I didn't come home with any cuttings. I was surprised that so many people didn't know what beautyberries looked like. Thanks for sharing the recipe and photos.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Sep 28, 2012 3:27 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Interesting report!
Name: Jan
St. Pete,FL
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Budgielover
Oct 7, 2012 5:00 PM CST
I'll have to try it next year before the birds get to them. They're picked clean now. I have the white berried ones too. I wonder if they taste the same.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Oct 7, 2012 5:50 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Shrug! I've never grown (or even seen) the white berried ones.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Oct 7, 2012 6:25 PM CST
I didn't even know there were white berried ones. But to me those beautiful livid purple berries they normally have are the reason for growing the shrubs. Love that color on the berries.
Name: Jan
St. Pete,FL
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plumerias Dog Lover
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Budgielover
Oct 7, 2012 9:30 PM CST
They aren't easy to find. I have tried to start them from seeds and cuttings with no luck but I am not set up to do cuttings properly with misters & all. I'll know I have pics of mine somewhere so I'll hook up my external hard drive and find them. They look just like the purple except the berries are white.

Dave, if you're any good at starting cuttings, I would be happy to send you some now or in the spring.
Name: Jan
St. Pete,FL
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plumerias Dog Lover
Region: Florida Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Seed Starter Seller of Garden Stuff Tropicals Hummingbirder
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Budgielover
Oct 7, 2012 9:50 PM CST
Actually, my pics are here in the plant database.

White American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana var. lactea)



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