Blackberry and Apple Jam

There is nothing better in the mornings than a hot piece of buttered toast slathered with some homemade jam.  Blackberry and Apple Jam is just right for this time of year and accompanied by a hot cup of tea or coffee breakfast feels cosy and autumnal.   But don’t just stop at spreading this jam on toast.  This jam is a great all rounder.  Try it sandwiched in sponge cakes and atop scones but also it works really well with savoury dishes – alongside pork or with venison for example, or it’s lovely served alongside a hunk of tangy cheddar in a ploughman’s or as part of a cheeseboard.

Now I know what you are thinking if you are over the age of 25. …. “great, but what about all those blackberry pips?  I’ll be forever picking them out of my teeth!”  Not exactly an exciting prospect I will be the first to agree.  But don’t worry because this very old fashioned jam recipe of my grandmothers gets over that problem (just as well as she had dentures)  by removing nearly all of them by sieving the pulp.  This isn’t as time consuming as it sounds so please keep on reading.  If you have an old fashioned piece of kitchen equipment called a mouli it is super quick (if not they are really cheap to buy – try Lakeland) and they are so useful for so many tasks in the kitchen.  If not a sieve and a wooden spoon does the same job only it’s a bit slower.

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A mouli in action sieving the pulp

The apples are in this jam not only for flavour but because they add the pectin which is needed for your jam to set.  Blackberries are very low in pectin by themselves.  You can use any type of apple for this recipe, eaters, cookers or even crab apples all do really well here.

See the tips at the bottom of this post if you need any guidance on sterilising jam or how to tell if jam has reached setting point.

Picking blackberries from the hedgerows and getting food for free must be one of the easiest most satisfying things to do at this time of year.  Extra nice if it’s sunny and you take along something to eat – maybe a slice of Irish Apple Cake or a flask of Mushroom Soup as detailed in previous posts and both very seasonal.   Kids love to get involved and help but foraging is also a very soothing thing to do on your own or as a couple.  Needless to say if you can bear to part with any the finished jam makes wonderful presents, especially topped with a pretty lid cover and adorned with an attractive label.

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The sieved blackberry and apple ham with sugar added being heated to setting point

Ingredients (makes 6 jars)

  • 1kg blackberries (or a mix of blackberries and de-stalked elderberries)
  • 350g apples, chopped (no need to peel or core)
  • water
  • granulated sugar
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Jar of blackberry and apple jam

Method

  1. Put all the fruit into a jam pan or a heavy based saucepan
  2. Pour over water so the fruit is barely covered
  3. Simmer over a medium heat until the fruit is soft (about 25-30 mins)
  4. Allow to cool a little before putting the stewed fruit through a mouli or a sieve and removing the pips.
  5. Put the sieved fruit back in the jam pan adding 350g sugar for every 450g of sieved pulp.
  6. Bring the jam to a rapid boil and test for setting point after 8 minutes
  7. When setting point is reached, leave for 10 mins before ladling jam into sterilised jars.  Top with a wax disc and a lid and leave to go cold before labelling jar.

Tips

To sterilise jam jars, wash in hot water (or in dishwasher) and then place on baking sheet in an oven set to 140c.  Leave for 5 mins before turning off oven and leaving jars in until ready to use

Setting point is between 105-110c depending on the level of pectin in the fruit.  I prefer to use the cold saucer method though as I find this much more accurate.  Simply put a saucer in the fridge or freezer and when you suspect jam is ready put a little blob on saucer, return to fridge for a minute before gently pushing jam with your finger.  If jam wrinkles whilst pushing its ready to jar

 

3 Comments

  1. You sound like a real jam expert Rose!! I didn’t know about the apples and pectin! I’ve only made strawberry jam and bought little packets of pectin– I need to give your method a try! And– I love love toast & jam with tea! How are you doing?? Is it cooling down there now?? hugs!

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