Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Blackberry (Bramble Berry) Jam 2.0

*UPDATE JULY 2015* I made this jam again and you can see much nicer photos here.

Summer. What do I like about summer? Lots of things really. How could I not? Living in England I have learned to take the term summer with a pinch of salt and always carry a bottle of suncream, a raincoat and a chuncky cardigan with me but still, there are lots of things to enjoy. This year has been all about fruit and veg. First and foremost, my favourite thing about summer is the strawberries. I LOVE strawberries but I have a bit of a thing where I refuse to buy non-British ones which makes me a bit of a hypocrite really seeing as if I want other fruits all year then I will buy them from other countries. My favourite apples are braeburns and I haven't seen any British ones in the shops but it hasn't stopped me. My point is that I try where I can. Does that make it any better? Probably not so lets get back to summer. My mum is very green fingered and this year has had a greenhouse which she started off a load of seeds in. Mum is particularly pleased that she hasn't had to whip off to B&Q or Homebase at all this year to fill a patch in the flower beds. Then there are the edibles. We've had carrots, onions, spring onions, radish, broad beans, French beans, green beans, new potatoes, LOTS of lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, lots and LOTS of tomatoes, cabbages, cauliflowers, blueberries and soon there will be apples, pears and sprouts. I'm so pleased for my parents that they've grown so much more than they have in the past. In this garden at least. My tastes have changed in the past couple of years so I've been able to enjoy more of the produce with them but broad beans are still a no go area. Pod them? Yes. Eat them? They had better not find their way onto my plate. 

Other things I've enjoyed about summer include having had the chance to experiment more and blog more as well as discovering the delights of Pinterest and how many other wonderful blogs there are out there. I think my dog and I have spent some quality time together too even if Cassie has sulked because I'm not her dad. I'm her best friend when I take her for a walk at least. If I had to choose a season I would say I am more of an autumn girl. I don't want to give a typical reason like the colours of the falling leaves and being able to kick huge piles of them about even though I like those things too, it's just autumn is more me. I said in my Rich Chocolate Ice Cream post that I welcome summer and it's true but there are some things about the end of the season and the beginning of the nest that I look forward to even more. Like blackberries for one. And blackberry jam. (Oh alright, and getting new stationary and bags for the new academic year, even at my age!)

I first wrote about this jam last year and have been looking forward to the poitn where I could make it again ever since. I noted that it was lovely but a little thick, probably because they were early berries so had enough pectin in to set the jam without the need for the lemon juice which I added to be on the safe side. This post notes the improvements I have made. I left out the lemon juice and used a splash of orange juice instead just to clean out the jug and bowl which had been holding the puree so I could capture as much of the wonderful fruitiness as possible. Mum thought it was the perfect texture. I don't know how to describe this jam really. It's simply very jammy. And very fuity. The flavour of the berries really comes through without being masked by the sugar. You know that sharp sweetness? That's it. Mum summed it up by saying that if she wanted to feel like she was being good she would have the blackberry jam but if she wanted to feel like she was baing naughty then she'd lather on the strawberry one. If jam isn't your thing then how about going berry picking to stock up on fruit for the freezer so you have a stash ready to make comforting crumbles and umptious pies in the winter? If I can persuade Mum to go berry picking with me again (much more fun than going on my own. Mum didn't even laugh when I couldn't move because I was caught in some brambles by my hair) then that's what I'm going to do. It's free, it's fun, it's delicious. What more could you want?
 

print recipe

Blackberry Jam
A super fruity but smooth delicious glossy jam. Perfect texture, perfect flavour, perfect fun.
Ingredients
  • Blackberries
  • 0.6oz granulated sugar per fluid oz puree
  • Splash of orange juice
Instructions
1. Go through the berries to pick out any insect/leaves. Rinse well and pop into a large pan. Crush a bit so there is a mixture of fruit and pulp and add a splash of water if you feel there wasn't enough left from the washing.2. Starting over a low heat, slowly bring the pulp to the boil. Reduce the temperature to a simmer then cover and maintain for 15 mins, stirring accasionally.3. Pour the pulp a bit at a time through a sive over a bowl. Push the pulp through to extract as much as possible.4. Clean the pan then measure how much juicy pulp has been obtained. Add to the pan along with 0.6oz sugar for every fluid oz of pulp. Use a small splash of orange juice to swill out the bowl/jug and add to the pan.5. Wash some jars with soapy hot water, rinse then put on a tray in the oven at 140 C for 10-15 mins to sterilise. Meanwhile, set the pan heat to medium and stir until the sugar is dissolved then increase the heat to bring to the boil. Pop a saucer into the fridge to chill.6. Boil the mixture, stirring frequenty until a sugar thermometer reads 104-106 C. Remove from the heat and put a small amount onto the chilled plate. After 30 more seconds in the fridge, if it wrinkles when you push a finger through it, the jam is ready. If not, boil for a bit longer.7. Pour the jam into the sterilised jars right to the top, cover with waxed paper discs or circles of baking paper. Pour boiling water over the lids in the sink then screw onto the jars when cool enough to handle. Leave the jars to go cold then enjoy at leisure.

4 comments:

  1. Haha, i always feel so ridiculous carrying around an umbrella, raincoat, sunglasses and SPF all at the same time. It's always a dilema this time of year... But jam is definitely one of the joys of Summer. Yours looks delicious! And I really want that thermospatula, I saw them in Lakeland :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you and I'm glad it's not just me! I really like my thermospatula, it's so useful. The only bad thing I could say about it is that the spatula bit is a little too hard to scrape the sides of a pan/bowl properly like with a regular one. If that makes any sense!

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