The Jam Edit


Blackberry jam is easy to make, and when the hedgerows are full of Autumn berries it’s very cheap too. All you’ll need is a big pan, water, stacks of sugar and a couple of lemons to make enough to see you through to the next year.

The only thing to remember is that it does need to get to setting point before you bottle it, and that can take longer than you think.  I suggest you either use a jam thermometer,  or the old fashioned and often more accurate way, which is to pop a saucer in the fridge before you start boiling the jam. When you think it is ready, put a spoonful of jam onto the cold saucer and push it with your finger. If it crinkles, the jam is ready, if it is still runny, it’s not.

If you aren’t sure how to sterilize jars, have a look online. I always put mine in the dishwasher on the hottest setting and time it so that the cycle will end at approximately the same time as the jam is ready, and it’s worked perfectly so far.

This recipe makes enough for about 10 medium sized jars.

3kg ripe blackberries

130ml water

1.5 tbsp lemon juice

3kg sugar

Tip the blackberries gently into a sink of cold water and swirl them around. Drain them and remove any little stems or prickly bits.

Put the berries into a big pan (preferably a proper preserving pan with a pouring lip) and add the water and lemon juice. Simmer until the berries are soft rather than mushy.

Pour in the sugar and stir gently until it has completely dissolved, then turn up the heat so that it starts boiling.

Boil fast until it reaches setting point, then turn off the heat, stir once and leave for five minutes. This helps to ensure the berries are evenly distributed throughout the jam. 

Carefully pour the jam into hot, sterilized jars, cover with a wax circle, cellophane and close tightly.

Hedgerow treasures