BERRIES PRESERVED IN RED WINE

SERVING: 6-8 half-pint jars

BY: Chef John Besh

In the Black Forest of Germany, this preserve is commonly made with cherries and red fruit and called Rote Grütze. I’ve made this idea work with our berries of South Louisiana. Wash but don’t peel or core the apples; the apples are where the pectin is, and you'll need it to thicken this jam.

NOTE: To sterilize the jars, bottles, and lids for all preserves, place them on a rack in a large canning pot, fill with water to the tops of the jars and bring the water to a boil for 5 minutes. Then, use tongs to carefully remove the jars and bottles. Drain them upside down on a clean kitchen towel until ready to fill.

3 cups red wine 
3 cups sugar
1 whole clove
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
6 cups chopped green apples
3 cups quartered strawberries
3 cups blueberries 
3 cups blackberries

Mix together the red wine, sugar, clove, bay leaf, cinnamon, and green apples in a deep saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the wine has reduced by half, about 30 minutes.

Strain the reduced red wine into a larger pot. Add the strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Bring to a rapid boil over high heat until the juices thickly coat the back of a spoon, about 35 minutes. Skim off any foam from the surface.

Ladle the berries and juices into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1⁄4 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars clean, then place sterilized lids on top and screw on the rings.

Use tongs to put the filled jars into a canning pot; cover with water at least 2 inches over the jar tops. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Use tongs to carefully remove the jars from the water; place on a kitchen towel. Allow the jars to cool completely before you move them.