Monday, 24 September 2012

Wild Blackberry Jam

Olly and I offered to help my mother-in-law erect some electric fencing around her horse paddocks the other day. But almost as soon we started, the power drill lost its power. Rather than press on with the job and try to screw in fence fixtures by hand, we totally gave up and turned our idle hands to berry picking! The whole field is surrounded by brambles, and the last of the summer fruit is finally ripe. We dined that night on blackberry crumble (made by my lovely husband), and I whipped up a jar of blackberry jam.

Here is a recipe based on one that I found in a vintage Reader's Digest homesteading book. It has been adapted for a small batch.  

1 pound of ripe blackberries
1 pound of white sugar
1 tsp of lemon juice
2 Tablespoons of water

Hull the blackberries and pick out any sticks, stones, bugs, or branches. Rinse and drain the berries. Place them in a pan with the water and lemon juice, and simmer until the berries are soft. I helped berries along with my vintage masher, but that's optional. Add the sugar until it is dissolved, and then allow the mixture to boil rapidly until just before the setting point. Remember that your jam will set firmer when it cools, so be careful not to overcook it. If you choose to strain out the seeds to make a clear jelly, do this before the boiling step. This recipe will fill a 300g jam jar when the seeds are strained and will yield more if you leave the seeds in. Enjoy!

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