Sunday, 3 May 2009

Bramble and Bramley Jam

I finally got around to making some blackberry jam and the results from last year's foraging have survived the cold confines of the freezer.
This weekend we have been busy in the front garden clearing a tangle of brutish brambles to make way for some raised vegetable beds. Battling away and getting scratched and spiked in the process, reminded me of last year and the thought of "I must make that jam" quickly entered my mind.

What I like about this particular jam is that it is seedless. Blackberries can be so full of pips and this doesn't always make it a pleasurable eating experience, especially when you get them stuck in between your teeth.
The addition of apples adds another dimension to the flavour and bulks out the texture too.

1kg blackberries
350g bramley apples
white granulated sugar

Core and roughly chop the apples leaving the skin on.
Put the apples and blackberries in a large preserving pan or large heavy bottomed saucepan. Add just enough water to cover and simmer until soft.

Sieve the softened fruit discarding the skins and seeds left behind in the sieve. 
Weigh the sieved pulp, make a note of the weight then weigh out that amount in sugar.

Put the sieved pulp and sugar into a large heavy bottomed saucepan or preserving pan and heat very gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring the jam to the boil and continue to boil very rapidly for about 8-10 minutes until the jam reaches setting point. See tip below.
When the jam has set, carefully pour into warm, sterilised jars, using a ladle.
Cover the jars with tight fitting screw-top lids.
Label when cold and store in a cool, dark place, away from damp.

Tricks and Tips: Jam setting point
Achieving the right set does carry a certain knack to it. You could try using a jam thermometer but personally I find it a lot easier using a method that my maternal Grandma showed me. Before you start to make the jam, put a plate in the fridge. When it's cold you then drizzle some warm jam on to it and return the plate to the fridge to cool for approximately two minutes. You can tell that it has set when you run your finger through it leaving a crinkly track mark. If after two minutes the cooled jam is too runny, continue to boil the jam, testing it every few minutes until you have the right set.


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