If it’s autumn, then it’s time to engage in autumnal activities! After breakfast, we visited the local hedgerow, left behind by the Developers when these houses were built on farmland, and spent an hour picking ripe blackberries. In that time we gathered about 4 lbs, enough for Bramble jam.
I have a favourite recipe, which yields an amazing, aromatic, pip free jam that I enjoyed on Christmas morning last year, and I swear you could taste the sunshine.
This is that recipe.
To make 3- 5 jars.
1.3kg/3lb blackberries, washed and bits of stalk etc. removed.
2 large cooking apples, washed and diced
450ml/¾ pint water
1 lemon, juice only
preserving or granulated sugar
2-3 tbsp crème de cassis or other blackberry or blackcurrant liqueur.(Optional but very very nice.)
Muslin, tea towel or jelly bag
Sterilized jam jars and jam pot covers.
1. Prepare a jelly bag or tea towel or muslin 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 or chair with a large bowl beneath, ready for the fruit juice to drip through.
This looks a bit Heath Robinsonish, but it was all I could think of to use last year, and it worked!
2. Place the blackberries, apple, water and lemon juice in a preserving or large, heavy based saucepan.
3. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the fruit is completely soft.I have the muslin simmering in a pan in the background.
6. 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 liqueur, if using. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until setting point is reached. Setting point is 112 degrees on a sugar tthermometer, if you have one.
7. 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.
More pictures tomorrow. I am at the dripping through stage today.