Take Your Pick: Saskatoon Jelly Or Saskatoon Jam

Whether you call them saskatoons or serviceberries, Amelanchier alnifolia is a shrub found throughout British Columbia. The purple-black berries, while they may be seedy when smaller, can be delicious and juicy when large. Found commonly at low to medium elevations, saskatoons can be found in forests and clearings alike.

Saskatoons. Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.
Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.

When it comes to saskatoon preserves, it all comes down to personal preference. While many prefer a jelly, smooth on the palate, others prefer a chunky, sweet jam. Recipes for both saskatoon jam and jelly are included so that you can try them both and see which you prefer.

Saskatoon preserves. Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.
Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.

Saskatoon Jelly

Ingredients:

To make juice:

  • 2 kg saskatoons, crushed
  • 1/4 cup water

To make jelly:

  • 2 1/2 cups of saskatoon juice
  • 1 package no-sugar-needed pectin
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Method:

Crush saskatoons in a large saucepan. Add 1/4 cup of water and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the fruit into a damp jelly bag (you can use cheesecloth if you don’t have a jelly bag on hand) and let juice drip from the bag. A lot of people say to not squeeze the jelly bag in order to have a clear final product, but we’ve found that squeezing the bag doesn’t negatively affect the jelly, and you are able to get the maximum amount of juice possible from the saskatoons.

To make the jelly, add saskatoon juice and no-sugar-needed pectin to a large saucepan. Stir until dissolved, then bring mixture to a boil. Add 1/3 cup of sugar and return to a boil. Once at a full, rolling boil, boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Fill sterilized jars to within 1/4 inch of rim, wipe clean, and hand tighten lids. Process for 15 minutes in a water bath canner. Makes approximately four half-pints.

Saskatoon Jam

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups saskatoons
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 package no-sugar-needed pectin
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Method:

Crush saskatoons in a large saucepan. Add sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add lemon juice and no-sugar-needed pectin, bring back to a boil and cook for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Fill sterilized jars to within 1/4 inch of rim, wipe clean, and hand tighten lids. Process for 15 minutes in a water bath canner. Makes approximately five jelly jars.