I found a couple of fantastic spots for blackberry picking this year – both within a 30 second walk of my house! The blackberries ripened early so I’ve been storing them in the freezer ready for making jam and fruit crumble. I managed to pick 7lb of fruit and there was still plenty left for wildlife – I must be the only person picking from these spots!
After picking the fruits, I washed them, let them dry on kitchen roll and put them in a sealed plastic box in the freezer. I wasn’t sure if using frozen rather than fresh fruit would affect the taste, but the blackberries were defrosted before use and made seriously delicious jam – so much so that I am not going to buy any more shop bought jam.
- Maslin / jam making pan – make sure you check that the pan you are buying is suitable for the heat source e.g. induction hob, gas hob. I bought a 9 litre pan which is pretty huge but I had no problems with overflow when it reached a rolling boil so I’m glad I bought a big size. I can also make mulled wine in it at Christmas!
- Jam funnel – I didn’t buy a jam funnel because I (naively) thought I’d be able to spoon the jam into the jars. Luckily my friend had bought a jam making funnel. Without it, more jam would have ended up on the outside of the jar.
- Stainless steel utensils.
- A cold plate for testing setting point.
I found some beautiful vintage style jars at Wares of Knutsford. Even though I left my jar order a little late and it was peak jam making season, I received my order within 2 days by courier.
What type of sugar for jam making?
I was umming and aahing about whether to use jam sugar or regular granulated sugar. I decided to go down the traditional route and use normal granulated sugar and a lemon (acid helps preserve) and it worked perfectly. Jam sugar is unnecessary – unless you can’t get hold of a lemon.
Bringing the jam to a rolling boil (meaning it does not stop boiling when stirred).
Very hot blackberries and apples – starting to look more jam like!
The jam has reached setting point (put small amount on a cold plate, refrigerate for 2 mins, ready when it wrinkles) and is ready to be put into jars using the jam funnel. I didn’t get any photos of the setting point as everything got a bit hectic!
The jam has been put into hot jars and sealed. It’s now ready to cool and then label.
Nom! Now all I need to do is make some labels for Christmas.
Jam making tips
- Use your left over lemon to rub the cooked jam off the pan, it saves alot of scrubbing!
- Have two plates in the fridge for testing the setting point so you don’t have to worry about cleaning the plate when timing the set.
- Clean the jar top after pouring in the jam and seal as tightly as you can.