It’s that time of year again. Hedgerows are beginning to offer out blackberries – plump, shiny, dark, full of promise! And although procuring them may involve the odd scratch and nettle sting, filling your cupboards with this lovely preserve is worth it, I promise!
Blackberry and Apple Jelly Recipe
2 eating apples, chopped – I used Braeburn
Water to cover
Juice of ½ lemon
Approx. 650gr Jam Sugar
1. Place blackberries and chopped apples, including skins and cores, in a large stainless steel pan (or preserving pan). Add water to nearly cover the fruit ( but not submerge).
2. Simmer until fruit is tender, mashing it slightly from time to time – approx. ½ hour.
3. Strain through a non metallic sieve or a colander lined with muslin. (You can use a clean tea towel that has been boiled in water for a few minutes, but it will get stained!)
4. For each 600ml of strained juice you will need 450gr of the sugar – I got this bit from the River Cottage Preserves book. I ended up with about 840ml of juice and so used 630gr of sugar.
5. Bring the juice to the boil with the juice of half a lemon and then add the sugar.
6. Boil the whole lot vigorously for anything from 5 – 15 minutes, until a set is reached.
7. To test for a set put a saucer in the freezer. After 5 minutes drop a teaspoon of the jam onto the saucer and leave a few seconds then push it with your finger. If it wrinkles slightly you have a set. If not keep testing every minute or so.
8. Once set decant into clean, sterilised jars. (Straight out of a hot dishwasher is fine.)
This jelly should keep for up to a year although I always refrigerate once opened. Delicious at breakfast or in cakes. So get picking!