Blackberry and Apple jam
The blackberries are ready to harvest here in Cornwall, maybe it is the milder weather down south but for me originally from London this a few weeks earlier than expected. But as the apple trees are also heaving with ripe fruit it is the perfect time to gather both and make apple and blackberry jam.
Ingredients: Makes enough to fill approximately 7 x 450g (1 lb) Jars.
- 1.25 kg (2 1/2 lb) of blackberries, no stalk and rinsed through.
- juice of 2 lemons.
- 400ml (14 fl oz) water.
- 640g (1 lb 5oz) cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped.
- Warmed sugar which will be equal to the weight of the simmered and prepared fruit. (ours weighed in at 4lb 2oz)
1. Put the prepared blackberries in a medium sized pan with the juice of 1 lemon and 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) of the water, cover with a lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes until soft.
2. Put the prepared apples in a separate pan with the remaining water and lemon juice, cover with a lid and simmer until soft and pulpy.
3. Blitz the blackberries briefly in a blender or food processor and then, optional, push through a sieve to remove the pips. (The majority of people prefer this jam pip free).
4. Weigh the blackberry puree and the apple pulp and put into a preserving pan.
5. Add the same amount of weight in sugar. Over a low heat slowly dissolve the sugar. Then bring to a rapid boil, approximately 15 minutes, or until setting point is reached. Setting point for jam is 105c (220F), a good way to test for setting point is to have a sugar thermometer clipped to the side of the saucepan with the end dipped in the boiling jam mixture. Stir occasionally to keep the fruit from catching on the bottom of the pan, adjusting the heat if the mix begins to splatter out the pan or boils too vigorously.
6. Once boiling point is reached skim off any scum if present and test for a set. The easy way to do this is to take a chilled saucer (a little while in a freezer drawer will do the job) and drop a small amount onto it, if the jam wrinkles when blown on, or gels without running when the saucer is tipped, it is ready.
7. Take off the heat and leave a few minutes to cool slightly. This will stop the fruit from rising to the top of the jar when potted.
8. Use a jam funnel on top of the jars and ladle the mixture into clean warm jars. Place jam cover discs wax side down onto the top of the jam. If using lids these can be placed on now, if using cellophane or paper covers wait until the jam has cooled and then secure with an elastic band. Label when cold.
Essence of Autumn: delicious blackberries growing down our lane