We love picking wild blackberries in late August and early September. We tend to go out a couple of times and pick a mound full. We use some for blackberry crumble, make a batch of jam and then freeze some to use around Christmas time.
Jams are really easy to make, as long as you are careful not to overset them (trust me I’ve done it). To test if it is at the right point either use a jam thermometer or try the plate test. You just put a teaspoon or so onto a plate then pop it in the fridge. After a couple of minutes check the consistency, if its a bit runny boil it for another 2 minutes.
Make sure your blackberries are thoroughly cleaned. I clean them by filling a bowl with salted water and then gently adding the blackberries. Leave them soak for an hour or so, then remove, inspecting each one for bugs. Then clean the bowl, add fresh water (not salted this time) and then repeat the process. Place the blackberries in a colander so they can dry off. It’s a bit of a faff but then you’re sure they are clean and bug free.
Preparation time – 5 minutes (excludes cleaning)
Cooking time – 40 – 45 minutes
Serves – Makes one large 380 ml jar
Little helpers – They can help measure out the ingredients and mix the ingredients together. They can sprinkle the sugar and give the jam a stir (supervised as it gets very hot).
450g Jam Sugar
Lemon – The Juice and zest
Put the blackberries, lemon juice and zest into a large pan and cook for about 10 minutes over a low heat, giving it the occasional stir. This ensures that plenty of the juice is released.
Then use a potato masher to press down on the berries to release even more juice. Don’t break them up into a pulp, it’s nice to have some berries for a chunkier jam.
Add the sugar and stir for around 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Then simmer for around 10 minutes stirring regularly. I find it easier to simmer rather than a rapid boil as its less likely to over set.
Use the plate test as outlined above to check that it is the desired consistency.
Remove from the heat and remove any scum from the surface with a spoon. Then pour into sterilised jars. Then store in a cool dark place.
Serve spread onto toast or scones.