Friday, 19 October 2012

Making blackberries into jam

So, the move has happened. I am no longer living in the house with the big garden where I can harvest food that I have grown, nor gather fruits from the blackberry bushes that surrounded the place.

This is quite a sad time, but I hope to be able (as I have discussed before) grow food in the plentiful pots and growing containers that I have collected and, in this way, learn a lot more about different techniques for being self sufficient.

One of the last things that I did while at the house, however, was to use all the blackberries that I had harvested last year and this to make jam. For reasons unknown even to myself, the recipe that I used is actually for Blackcurrant Jam but it has worked very well and tastes incredible so I don't think any harm was done.

The link to the original source is

This was far less time consuming than the chutney, as I did not have to chop anything, and also didn't have to leave it to mature over night. It did, however, take several hours and involved stirring the pots quite often.

One other thing to quickly highlight; I'm pretty sure I used too much water when I made it, as I thought "surely that's too little" but, people, follow the ratios!! Quite a lot of my jam actually failed to set, so I'm going to have to work out what to do with super-runny jam now.

Anyway, to the photos and instructions.

All of the blackberries, still frozen and in the freezer drawer. There were about 3.5kg here I think.

First of all I separated the big frozen blocks of fruit, and then washed them over with cold water in the colander.

Sunlight on blackberries, waiting to be boiled down.

This is the amount of sugar that is needed to make this much jam...

... and this is what that sugar looks like when it is in the baking tray ready for heating up and adding to the mix.

Water and fruit simmering gently waiting for the fruit to soften. As the instructions say, the fruit should easily squash between your spoon and the side of the pan before you add the sugar as the sugar will stop the softening process.

Adding the sugar. It is amazing how much there was, and I actually ended up throwing in another 250g because I think I put too much water in for the softening process.

All the sugar added, all ready for turning the heat up and boiling them hard prior to bottling.

Starting to get a good roil going on during the boiling process (beat poetry there, did you see it?)

I'm sure THIS wasn't supposed to be in the jam - it bubbled to the top during boiling so i hoiked it out and discarded, obviously after taking a picture for you guys.

The final boil coming to an end.

I pulled the pans off the heat a couple of times, and did the little check that is suggested in the instructions, until it appeared that the jam was ready.

The finished batch of jam - there was a LOT more than I expected as it didn't really reduce down the same as the Green Tomato Chutney did.


So there you have it. About 1/3 of the jam was totally set, and the other 2/3 in differing stages of set to completely runny when I packed them for moving.

I will get round to counting the exact number of jars and may update you. Suffice to say, the taste test on bottling was a big thumbs up.

Thanks for reading, please do comment and I'll be back sooner (as I have interwebs at the homestead now) so will be able to update midweek again.


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