A semi-loose, rustic fruit preserve you can cook with, or just enjoy on toast with jam. In a restaurant, I would pass through a chinois while hot, at home, I can deal with a little texture. Makes roughly 3 cups rustic preserves, or 2.5 cups passed through a strainer.
Keyword: Aronia Berry, Chokeberry, Jam, Preserves
chinois or other strainer (optional), canning jars, large stock pot
16ozchokeberries, or roughly 3-4 cups washed and cleaned if needed
1teaspoon (10 grams) grated ginger, and it’s juice (optional)
finely grated zest of half an orange or lemon (microplaned) optional
Look over the chokeberries and remove any stems
Mix the sugar and pectin. Put the chokeberries and grated ginger in a tall saucepot (you don’t want this splattering around so use a deep, tall saucepot) and add water just so the berries are almost covered.
Bring the mixture to a simmer, then transfer to a blender and process until as smooth as possible. If I want a refined puree, I’ll pass it through a chinois strainer to catch the small pieces of skin that may still be in the chokeberry coulis, but at home, I may leave them in for a more rustic look and texture (some people may not care for the texture, so straining is my first choice) If you don’t strain the mixture, you should have about 32 oz (4 cups) of coulis/puree or a little less.
Pour the mixture back into the pot, add the pectin-sugar mixture, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Continue cooking on high heat until the mixture reaches 225 F on a candy thermometer, or just boil for a couple minutes if you don't have a thermometer--this is a rustic recipe.
Turn the heat off and stir in the vinegar or lemon juice, along with the ginger and zest, then pack into half pint or pint jars and process in a water bath (10-15 minutes according to your altitude) for storage in a pantry. After the jars of chokeberry preserves cool, inspect for any that haven’t formed a seal and refrigerate or freeze. You can also store the chokeberry preserves in the fridge or freezer without processing in a water bath.
The temperature (and looser than average set it makes) ensures the chokeberry preserves are a little rustic, and retain the ripe berry flavor that can get tainted from caramelization that comes from cooking to higher temps to get a firm, superball-set that can plague small batch jams.As far as pectin, I use only Cuisine-Tech brand. You can order it online, or substitute another powdered pectin, just make sure it's unsweetened.