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Blackberry and Apple Jam

Blackberry and Apple Jam

This is one for those fresh Autumn days, when the heat of the summer is just on the wane and the bushes on the quiet lane outside our house are heaving with juicy ripe blackberries.

The rule of thumb I usually operate by when making this jam is to match the amount of fruit to amount of sugar. So, first things first, pull on your jacket and boots, grab a bowl and hit the hedgerows. Try to resist eating all the berries before you get them back home, my mother, who taught me how to make this jam, is notorious for blackberry picking and scoffing most of the haul before we get back!

Once you get your heaving bowl of berries back to the house, give them a good wash and remove any stalks or unwelcome insect visitors.

Weigh the fruit, if you have around 1 kg (2 lbs) you might not need to add any apples at all, but if the haul is on the low side, (thanks Mam!) you can bring the weight up with some skinned and chopped cooking apples. I heard somewhere once that there is naturally occurring pectin in apples that aids with the setting of the jam, don’t know if that’s true, but it works for me! We have some young apple trees (cookers) in the garden, so if you’re lucky, there might be some apples available for this jam, just leave a pot in the fridge for us!

Ingredients

  • 1kg fruit, (blackberries and skinned, cored and chopped cooking apples)
  • 1kg sugar
  • tiny bit of water

Method

  • Put the fruit in a large pot (it will bubble up and double in size).
  • Add a small drop of water just to loosen the fruit, and cook gently until it starts to soften.
  • Add the sugar, stir in well and allow to dissolve.
  • Bring to the boil and stir well for around 15 mins until the mixture has bubbled and expanded.
  • Take a tiny bit out with a spoon (careful, it’s hot!) and put on a place, if it doesn’t run too much and sets in a few seconds, the jam is ready.
  • Put into clean jars, (I wash my jars in the dishwasher on a hot wash, then before I put the jam in, I quickly scald them with some hot water)
  • Use a jug to fill up the jars, and leave a gap at the top to allow for expansion.
  • Seal, allow to cool and enjoy.

This keeps well in the fridge for a month or more unopened, and can also be frozen. It is unbeatable served on brown bread, with real butter!