My family love jam, and it is something I love to make and gift to friends or family, at Christmas time I like to make my own food hampers to give to friends and family and they include a lot of homemade preserves. My favourite jam to make is blackberry jam because you can pick the fruit for free, its good fun, seasonal and super delicious. My kids get so excited to go blackberry picking, we take a massive bucket and go several times, usually, we pick around 10kg of blackberries, a lot is for jam, but Alan and the kids love blackberry crumble a staple in our house in the autumn. Blackberry picking has turned into a major event in our house we go in a big troop, it’s a time of year I always look forward to.
Jam may seem quite daunting but it’s actually really easy and pretty quick to make, I always use jam sugar making the results more reliable and most importantly homemade jam is so much tastier than the bought kind, go on give it a go…
Slather this jam thickly on homemade scones with clotted cream, you will not be disappointed.
Makes 4 jars (approx)
Juice of 1 lemon
1kg jam sugar
a knob of butter
1. Put a saucer in the freezer.
2. Add half of each of the berries to the saucepan and add the lemon juice. Using a potato masher, mash the berries to a pulp, cook gently for around 5 minutes. Strain the berries in a sieve over a bowl, make sure to work all of the pulp through the sieve so only seeds remain.
3. Tip the juice and pulp back into the sauce pan and add the sugar, stir to dissolve, then add the remaining fruit and a knob of butter. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 5 minutes.
4. Get out the chilled saucer from the freezer and drop a bit of jam onto it, wait a couple of seconds and then push your finger through it, you’re looking to see if it wrinkles and starts to look like jam, if it does, keeping boiling the mixture and keep trying the saucer method every 2 minutes. (I find it easier to put a few saucers in the freezer at the start.)