Cycling along the lanes above my house yesterday I noticed that the blackberry season has officially started (well around here anyway; I know we are a couple of weeks later than down south).
And what a blackberry season it is.
These hedgerows were literally dripping with blackberries.
It is unusual that I’m the first to any blackberry hedge but yesterday it appeared I was.
I picked this lot in about 20 minutes along a 20m section of hedge.
They were huge. As big and fat as raspberries.
It was not a child friendly blackberry picking spot with nettles as high as me. But armoured up with wellies, old jeans, a long sleeved top that wouldn’t mind the odd thorny snag or two and a pair of those thin vinyl disposable gloves, I was prepared.
Why is it that the fattest, most coveted berries are always just out of reach?
Blackberry and Apple Jam recipe
1kg of blackberries
350g apples ( I have used cooking apples but eating apples, windfalls are fine)
White granulated sugar
Core and roughly chop the apples with the skins still on. Yes, I know, no peeling and coring!
Put the apples, cores 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 and weigh the sieved pulp (discard the skins and seeds left in the sieve). Add 450g (1lb) of sugar for each 450g (1lb) of sieved pulp. Luckily I have one of these
Put 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. I have a jam thermometer and boil until the thermometer reads 104 degrees.
When the jam has set, carefully pour into warm, sterilised jars, using a ladle or small jug. I have a jam funnel. It saves a lot of mess.
Cover the jars with tight fitting screw-top lids, or waxed disks and cellophane pot covers. I just use good lids. I’ve never had a problem. The simpler the better in my book.
Label when cold and store in a cool, dark place, away from damp.
I’m off to pick some more for the freezer. There’s nothing better than a blackberry and apple crumble in the depths of winter.
Love, Lucie xx