Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Blackberry & Apple Jam

My in-laws were kind enough to buy me a jam pan for my birthday last year, which didn't get a lot of use in 2008 (other than some rather awesome beetroot chutney which I promise to blog about some time) but in 2009 it has been more often on the hob than off. I made batches of lush strawberry jam for Haxby Memorial Hall's Family Garden Party in August, and some Cherry Plum & Damson jam from fruit we'd found in the hedgerows (and damsons we bought from a roadside stall).

Whilst out geocaching, my other half had found a great brambling site just outside York, and so we decided we'd have a Sunday afternoon stroll to gather some fruit and make some jam. We duly brambled, with out little boy eating his own bodyweight in blackberries and still wanting more, and came home with just under 4lbs of the luscious fruits ready for jamming and a few elderberries to make up the weight. As we were getting out of the car our neighbour called out to us and spotting shortcakes blackberry face, offered us some cooking apples to go with them. One of the things I love most about living up north is the increased interaction with neighbours and the community.

My Grandmother used to work for Sphere books, and so as a child I grew up with the 'Good Housekeeping Family Library' cookbooks as my sources. Knowing my new found love of all things to go with boiling sugar (I also dabble in making home made boiled sweets), my Mum had passed on the 'Jams & Preserves' title from the series and I turned to this for a recipe. There I found one for Blackberry & Apple Jam. Perfect. A little preparation and boiling later and we had ourselves 10lbs of what looked like beautiful jam.

I tried it on toast for the first time today. Oh. my. gods. It tastes like a blackberry & apple crumble, full of fruity sweetness but with that delicious mouthfeel that only comfort food has. This is not M&S Jam, this is the best jam ever!


Pick over and wash 4lbs of blackberries, put in a pan with 1/4 pint of water and bring to the boil then simmer until soft. Peel, core and slide 1lb 8oz of cooking apples, put into a separate pan with 1/4 pint of water and cook until its pulpy like apple sauce. Add this to the blackberries, and put in 6lbs of sugar. Stir until dissolved as it comes to the boil, then boil at around 220 degrees until you reach the setting point (use the saucer test).

Get out and pick your berries before the season is over!

1 comment:

  1. The jam pan is perfect for wine making too though with it's measurements up the side - when heating up the liquid slightly and dissolving the sugar.