I recently went out foraging for apples and blackberries locally and although the apples weren’t up to much the blackberries were fab if a little difficult to harvest. Long sleeves, trousers, socks and a stick are must haves if you don’t want to get scratched and stung and another time I would bring gardening gloves too. It took me over an hour to gather just 600g as I think I’m not the only forager locally! This weekend I went to a car boot sale at a local farm where I managed to pick the same amount in about 20 minutes so it really is about being in the right place at the right time. I could have come home and made a blackberry and apple crumble or some such dessert but that would have put all my hard work to such a quick and frivolous use. No, it had to be jam to preserve the fruits of my labours so to speak. If I’m honest I do think I’ve fallen in love with jam making and if you’ve not tried it yet then I can’t recommend it highly enough. I haven’t had one disaster with jam making which I can’t say for many other areas of cooking!
I researched various recipes and found that most of them wanted the blackberries and apples cooked separately which after spending so long picking the fruit seemed like an exercise I didn’t want to go through. I was so pleased to then find a recipe in “The Classic 1000 Recipes” book (Foulsham) where the fruits were boiled in the same pan and so I adapted this recipe and gave some flesh to the bones of the method.
My family loved this jam and even my pip hating husband did too. I think it tasted all the better for having foraged the blackberries and we have enough jars to take us into the winter as I made 6 jars of varying sizes.
As usual just before you start jam making just wash your jars and lids in hot soapy water, fill with boiling water, empty and then pop in the oven for 20 mins at 120°C and leave in there until you jam is ready.
- 600 g Blackberries, washed & drained
- 500 g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into berry sized chunks
- 1.1 kg Granulated sugar
- 300 ml Water
- 10g Butter
- Put the water and apple chunks in a preserving pan and simmer gently until soft (about 5 mins).
- Add the blackberries, bring to the boil and simmer until soft (about 15 – 20 mins).
- Add the sugar off the heat stirring to dissolve the crystals.
- Heat the pan gently to ensure all the sugar dissolves, then boil rapidly for 10 mins.
- Take off the heat and test a large drop of jam on a chilled saucer and if it crinkles after a couple of mins it’s ready.
- If not boil for another 2 mins and repeat test until ready.
- Remove excess scum with a slotted spoon and then stir in the butter to remove the rest.
- Ladle into sterilised jars. Makes 1.8 kg.