It is that time of year again when I am busy preserving foraged food and things from the garden. When ever I cook black berries (brambles) I usually mix them with foraged apples to stretch the berries out . When making jam this helps as blackberries are low in pectin but the apples make up for that by having a high pectin level, and so the jam sets easily.
We pick lots of blackberries at this time of year and usually I freeze them all but I have little freezer room this year as the vegetable harvests have been abundant, and so I thought that I would make some jam for Christmas hampers and for us. This makes just over 2kg of jam. Before I make jam I always put a saucer into the freezer to use later to see if the jam has reached setting point. This is the UK way of making jam as I know the USA has other health regulations. This jam has kept for 2 years for me before now, without getting any mould.
675g of peeled and cored cooking apples
1kg black berries
1.4kg granulated sugar (I put less sugar in if I am using foraged eating apples)
- Cut the apples into small cubes and place in a heavy based pan with the water.
- Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes
- Sterilise the jars whilst the apples are cooking. You can do this in the oven or the microwave.
- Add the blackberries and simmer gently for a further 10 minutes until you have a soft puree.
- Stir in the sugar. Once it has completely dissolved bring the pan back to the boil.
- Let it rolling boil for about 20 minutes or until it has reached setting point (between 104C and 105.5C). I test it my putting some onto the saucer that has been in the freezer and if I put my finger through it and it wrinkles and doesn’t fill in where my finger has been I know it is ready)
- Take the pan off the heat and pour the jam into the warm sterilised jars. Seal and label.