Sunday, 25 September 2011

Blackberry Jam


This is your last chance to pick your blackberries. The Scots refer to the fruit and plant interchangeably as “brambles”.
At the end of September, which coincidentally is the start of autumn,  folklore has it, the Devil spits on the blackberries, curses them or puts his cloven hoof on them (depending which part of the country you are from) rendering them inedible.

There is a lot of tannin in brambles and perhaps after September, at the end of their season and when they start to wither, they become too bitter.

Blackberry Jam

Rind and juice of 2 lemons

Pick over the blackberries for bits of leaf, insects and other detritus, and give them a wash if you’re dubious about car fumes, dogs, etc.
Put them in a non-reactive pan with the sugar, lemon juice and rind from 1 lemon and water and bring to the boil, simmering for 2-3 minutes until the fruit has started to release its juice. Allow to cool; remove lemon rind and then liquidise in a blender or food processor (or just push through a sieve). Strain to remove the seeds and debris.

Add sugar to the sieved pulp.
Put sieved pulp, sugar and lemon rind (optional) into a large heavy bottomed saucepan 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.
When the jam has set, carefully pour into warm, sterilised jars, using a ladle or small jug
Cover the jars with tight fitting screw-top lids.