Bramble jam

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.

4. 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.

From above and, below,
from the side. you can see the fruit in the muslin and the juice in the bowl below.

5. 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.

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.


5 thoughts on “Bramble jam

  1. Thank you so much for the step by step, Judith!
    I have GOT to try this…esp. now that I know how to create a jellybag. Your pictures are so helpful…

  2. Just read this is I got back from another blackberrying excursion on the Sea Brows – the grassy hills and disused quarries fringing the sea hereabouts. My ‘dripping’ arrangments are even more improvised than yours – a muslin bag suspended from a door-handle in the utility room, dripping into the preserving pan below!

    I’m going to make bramble jelly – just lemon juice for pectin. If I get more blackberries tomorrow, I’ll make some of the jam according to your recipe as I’ve got a good quantity of locally grown Bramleys to use up.

    This autumnal ‘mellow fruitfulness’ makes up for a lot of the disappointment of the dismal summer we’ve had, doesn’t it?

  3. I remember as a kid my mum used to make lots of jam, she had a lovely large preserving pan like yours too, but I never saw her coming up with such an ingenious method of straining, most probably because we used to have to put up with all the pips! My dad always gives me blackberries which he has picked, but alas they always end up in the bottom of my freezer because I never know what to do with them apart from the obligatory crumble. Maybe one day I may get around to trying your lovely recipe.

  4. Your chair contraption is fantastic! what a wonderful idea. It really is a wonderful year for blackberries this year. I am going out in a few days’ time to pick sloes. I just have to find some gin….

  5. Thanks for your lovely comments everyone. I’m looking forward to the heavenly smell in the kitchen tomorrow when I boil up the juice with the sugar.
    Mmmmm-mellow fruitfulness.

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