Blackberry jam is an all-time favourite with its strong flavour and vibrant colour. Although the best blackberries are always just out of reach, the energy expended to scramble, stretch and slither round the bramble thorns is worth it for a good punnet of berries. That’s if you don’t drop them in the grass on the way back. A kilo of blackberries is about three punnets. The apple is there to provide the pectin to make it set, which it does very well. Makes about a litre and a half of jam.
One kilo of blackberries
Half a kilo of apples peeled and diced (crab apples if you have them)
One and a half kilos sugar
Simmer the fruit gently with the water in a wide pan until soft. Add the sugar, stirring to dissolve it. Once it has dissolved (you can’t see crystals on the back of a wooden spoon), boil rapidly for ten minutes. Put a teaspoon of jam on a saucer pre-chilled in the freezer. Once cool, push your finger across the surface of the jam sample and if it wrinkles, it’s set. If not, return to the boil for another five minutes and test again. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before bottling in sterilised jars*. Label once cold.
* wash jars well and heat in the oven on a tray for 10 minutes at 120 degrees C. Boil the lids and seals for ten minutes in a pan of water. Do the same with any jugs, spoons and funnels you use to fill the jars.