Bilberry juice yields a clear, dark-blue or purple dye from the berries for this fruity, tasty Bilberry Jam.
3 pounds clean, fresh bilberries
1-1/2 pound sugar
1 cup water
Note: Apple juice made from windfalls and peelings, instead of the water, improves this jam. To make apple juice, cover the apples with water, stew down, and strain the juice through thick muslin. Blackberries may also be added to this mixture.
Put 3 pounds of clean, fresh bilberries in a preserving pan with 1-1/2 pound of sugar and about 1 cupful of water and bring to the boil.
Boil rapidly for 40 minutes.
If the jam is to be kept long it must be bottled hot in screw-top jars, or, if tied down in the ordinary way, more sugar must be added.
Recipe makes 8 cups.
Bilberry juice yields a clear, dark-blue or purple dye that has been much used in the dyeing of wool and the picking of berries for this purpose, as well as for food.
Owing to the shortage of the aniline dyestuffs formerly imported from Germany, Bilberries were eagerly bought up at high prices by dye manufacturers during the War, so that in 1917 and 1918 a large proportion of the Bilberry crop was not available for jam-making, as the dyers were scouring the country for the little blue-black berries.
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