Wild Mountain Huckleberry Preserves
1 lime, coarsely chopped with peel
3-1/2 cups sugar
2-1/2 cups fresh huckleberries, stemmed
Place the lime in a small saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a large, non-corrosive pot, pressing against the pulp with the back of a spoon. Discard the pulp.
Add the sugar and slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently to keep the sugar from burning. Raise the heat to medium-high, place a candy thermometer in the syrup, and cook until the syrup registers 235 degrees F (soft-ball stage).
Add the huckleberries. Heat until the mass of berries and syrup is boiling rapidly (adjust the heat as necessary to prevent the mixture from boiling over). Continue cooking uncovered, stirring frequently, until droplets fall off a spoon in sheets (soft-ball stage), about 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally to distribute the fruit. Ladle the cooled fruit mixture into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe off the rims and seal the jars with sterilized rings and lids. Process in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes.
Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Once the jars are opened, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Makes about 1-1/2 quarts.
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