Blackberry & Apple Jam

There’s no better time than the present to tackle this fruity jam, a luscious deep purple in colour. Blackberries are ripening fast in gardens, hedgerows and on wasteland near you! Get out there with your containers before it’s too late and get picking. (Avoid fruit growing beside roads though, because of pollution hazards.) This jam smells wonderful when you are preparing it, and it makes the perfect companion for your breakfast toast or a freshly baked scone.

You will need:

  • 750 g green cooking apples
  • 1kg blackberries
  • 454g of jam sugar to 570ml of liquid
  1. Peel, core and chop the apples. Pick over and wash the blackberries. Remove any stalks from the berries, and cut away and discard any damaged or bruised fruit.

  2. Put the apples and blackberries in a large pan with 125ml of water. Simmer slowly over a medium heat for around 20-30 minutes until soft. Stir the mixture often to avoid sticking.

  3. Leave to cool, then pour the fruity mixture into a measuring jug.

  4. Add 454g of sugar to every 570ml of mixture. Return to the pan and stir, without boiling, over a low to medium heat for 5 minutes or until all the sugar has dissolved.

  5. Bring the mixture to the boil and boil rapidly for around 7-10 minutes stirring often. You will need to stir across the base of the pan, not just around the edges, to check the jam is not sticking or burning.

  6. Test for setting point when the jam looks thick and syrupy [see below]. When set, remove from the heat. Remove any scum from the surface with a large spoon.

  7. Transfer the jam to a heatproof jug, using a ladle and funnel if you have one and immediately pour into warm sterilised jars, wipe them down and add lids.

  8. Leave to cool. Use within 12 months of making. Refrigerate after opening and use within 6 weeks.

Jam-making tips:

♥ For best results, use a large, heavy-based stainless steel jam-making pan. Do not use more than 2kg of fruit in total at one time. Adding sugar increases the volume and jam can rise up the pan when boiling, so take care.

♥ To prepare your jam jars, first check there are no chips or cracks that might cause the heat to shatter them. Wash them in a dishwasher or hot soapy water and rinse well. Dry, then sterilise the jars in the oven. Place on a baking tray and leave in an oven preheated to 120ºC/Gas Mark ½ for 20 minutes or until ready to use.

♥ Actual cooking time depends on the size of pan used, fruit used, whether it is in season, the water content etc. You should test the setting point some 10 minutes before the time stated in the recipe. Do not rely only on the times given.

♥ To test for setting point, take a large spoon of jam, tilt the spoon over the pan and see whether it falls heavily from the spoon. The drops may form into a sheet and be slow to drop. Alternatively, put a teaspoon of jam onto a cold plate (which needs to go in the freezer when you begin). Return it to the freezer for 30 seconds or until cooled to room temperature. There should be a skin on top of the jam that wrinkles if you gently push it with your fingertip.

With thanks to Ivy and Neat for allowing me to reproduce our recipe from their website!!!


West Ealing Neighbours

Diane Gill