Cook, Gather
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Things to do with blackberries: No 01- Jam it

Wow there are so many blackberries this year, I am overwhelmed.  My first trip out I collected just over 2lb from Cofton Park – there was a large low growing bramble which you could climb into and get the biggest berries.  This batch was destined for jam – but I found it hard to find a jam recipe on-line.  In the end I modified this BBC Food recipe and kept the fruit

Blackberry jelly by Emily Angle

The apples in this recipe add loads of pectin to set the blackberries in a fairly firm jam. Great with cheese and biscuits.

Ingredients

  • 1.3kg/3lb blackberries, washed
  • 2 large cooking apples, washed, cored and diced [I used 4 small apples I picked locally]
  • 450ml/¾ pint water
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • preserving or granulated sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp crème de cassis (optional)
  • sterilized jam jars and jam pot covers

Method

  • Prepare a jelly bag or tea towel by boiling in water for 2-3 minutes. Wring well and leave to cool. Arrange the jelly bag on a stand or up-turned stool with a large bowl beneath, ready for the fruit juice to drip through.
  • Place the blackberries, apple, water and lemon juice in a preserving or large, heavy based saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the fruit is completely soft.
  • Tip the soft fruit and juice into the jelly bag and leave to drip for 8 hours or until all the juice has been released. [This is the bit I omitted – I am not a fan of jelly so I kept all the fruit – I removed the skins from the apples at this stage.]
  • Prepare the jam jars by washing in hot soapy water and leaving to dry and warm in a cool oven – 130C/250F/Gas ½ for 10-15 minutes.
  • Measure the juice. For every 600ml/1 pint weigh 450g/1lb sugar. Put the juice and sugar back into the clean preserving pan, heat over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved, add the crème de cassis, if using. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until setting point is reached.
  • Skim away any scum from the top of the jelly and fill the jam jars to the brim. Cover, seal and label. Store in a cool, dark place until required.

Lesson learnt

  1. Setting point – still can’t get the plate thing to work
  2. I made 4 large mason jars of jam and I still needed an extra small jar for the bits left in the pan
JAM

JAM

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