Blackberry Jam!

in homesteading •  2 months ago

A few weeks ago, @bingbabe did one of her many 10k runs but came back with a huge basket full of blackberries.

This fruit grows wild in England and is very common at this time of the year. Where the basket came from, I’m none the wiser.

The picture below are wild blackberries growing at the rear of my house.

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The conversation was had next was something like this...

‘What are we going to do with those?’, I said.
‘Make some jam of course’, came back the response.
‘Have you made it before?’
‘Never’

Sigh; It was a case of get on the internet and discover a recipe. We used this one which proved quite sufficient but didn’t really deliver in the quantities mentioned.

Ingredients
Makes: 8 (340g) jars blackberry jam
1.8kg blackberries
85ml water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1.8kg caster sugar

We had around 1.2kg of blackberries, and just less than 1kg of caster sugar. Everything else seemed good and OK.

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In a large pan, combine the blackberries, water and lemon juice. Simmer gently over a very low heat for 1 to 2 hours, or until the fruit has broken down and is soft and pulpy.

Easy enough, we left them for around 1.5 hours simmering and the fruit did indeed break down.

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Add the sugar to the blackberry mixture and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

I was balking at this. 1kg is a LOT of sugar and that stuff is NOT good for us. Talk about a pile of the white stuff and according to the recipe this still is not enough.

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Begin testing for the setting point by dropping a little jam on a cold plate. If you push it with your finger and it wrinkles, it is ready.

I wasn’t too sure what this meant. I was prodding it and getting my fingers sticky. Is that what should be happening?

Skim any foam from the top of the jam and transfer to sterilised jars and seal immediately. Leave undisturbed in a dark place for 24 hours.

There didn’t appear to be any foam and putting boiling jam in glass jars didn’t seem right, but we did it anyway.

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There was supposed to be 8 jars from 1.8kg, but we only managed 3 jars from 1.2kg.

24 hours was a little long for me, and the next day I couldn’t wait to try the jam. After getting past the ‘this has far too much sugar’ phase, I added some butter to these Hot-Cross Buns and then spread the jam quite thickly.

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The constitution seemed good, the seeds are small with no huge lumps and the taste is simply wonderful. We gave away one jar, and one of the two is already half empty.

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If you see those Blackberries growing then grab some and make some jam while they are still attached to the bushes!


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Thanks @pennsif!, appreciated!

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You are welcome.

You've reminded me that I saw some brambles hidden away behind some garages earlier in the summer. It was one of those marginal places where the bushes could grow undisturbed and was covered in flowers and insects. Glad the jam turned out all right - I did experiment with a 60/40 ratio long ago (60% fruit to 40% sugar), it doesn't last as long and I always kept it in the fridge, but it doesn't look like it has to last long in your household!

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No preservatives means not as long before the mold creeps in, I know. We had some made by someone else before this batch, but I think ours is better.

The other stuff was too lumpy, but this is smoother. I'm about to eat some on my toast now :)

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Yes, yours does sound really jammy. Enjoy!

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by the sounds of it, the jam won't get the chance to go moldy. Enjoy.

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I would love some. I grew up with blackberries. Does she make blackberry cobbler? My favorite as well as the jam.

She is sure healthy with all that running. :)

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I don't know what blackberry cobbler is!

well I do now.. after looking.. and no not that adventurous yet :)

Black berries here are expensive which is imported, and I have not tried the fresh berries yet. What a wonderful place you live in where they could easily be found growing wild. Your jam looks very delicious and I have no choice but to settle for the bottled jams with lots of preservatives lol. Awesome share buddy.

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Where do you live where blackberries cant be picked, Hong Kong?

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I'm from the Philippines and no black berries around. We have a lot of mangoes, bananas and coconuts. Although there are some imported ones from the supermarket that is expensive but still picking your own is very different.

a niece of my wife brings on some homemade strawberry jam every now and then. I have to be quick otherwise my kids eat everything :)

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otherwise my kids eat everything

I know only too well about this one :)

I've never made jam, but my mum used to with plums, gooseberries and strawberries. Problem is that I tend to not eat much of it these days. We have plenty of fruit. Maybe need to look at what else we can do with it. Can probably freeze some

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It is very sugar intensive as you read. Not very good for you really after all the sugar is added. You could always add the raw berries to your cereal, they are quite sweet.

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That's what I do. I use as many as I can

Looks deliciou! This does seem to be a very good year for blackberries. My garden was full of them, but I love them so much I just ate the all on the spot! I made jam a few years ago, from blackberries, rosehips, haw berries and rowan berries. I needed a LOT of sugar as those berries are pretty tart. There was enough jam to make a few Xmas presents.

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All those mixed up? What was the taste like..?

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It had a really unusual fragrant taste. It was very nice but more like jelly than jam, because I put too much lemon juice in.

Yummy!! Reminds me of the grape jelly we recently made from wild grapes. So delicious!

Did it say what kind of jars to use? The standard Ball canning jars are smaller than what it looks like you might have been using. It is possible that at those sizes it would have filled 8. Who knows though. It looks tasty! My mom used to make strawberry jam and I would eat it all the time. That does seem like a lot of sugar! That is the cool thing about making it yourself, you can adjust those quantities unlike the stuff you buy at the store.

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I don't know where @bingbabe got those jars from. One is a regular jam jar, the others I don't know what they are called but they are bigger than regular ones.

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Ah, okay. It looks like it turned out great no matter what size jar you put it in! :)

I've stopped and looked at this post several times. I have an incurable weakness for blackberry jam and blackberries in general. They grew wild where I grew up...

The only thing that can even remotely compare in my world is Huckleberries. I got some of that this summer when I was up north. I mean, is there a human that can resist a huckleberry milkshake? Not this one.

And I also had a blackberry shake just to keep the equation balanced.

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Never heard of a huckleberry milkshake or huckleberries. Sounds interesting though!

Scones all the way Break out the clotted cream!!

FOR TSE: Blackberries here are expensive, too ... but oh, how I love them. You can't just pick them off the side of the road -- like your wife apparently did.

Blackberry cobbler is not "ambitious." It's much easier than blackberry jam. I'd rather have it, too.

Your photos are awesome.

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It seems Blackberries like to grow in cold countries and US/NM isn't one of those places. This 'cobbler' thing appears to be an American dish and I'm not really familiar it. It looks a little like crumble.

Is that also popular there?

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It's kind of a substitute for pie if you don't feel like rolling a crust, etc. It's reasonably popular. The Weasel and I usually make crisp though -- with a topping that has oatmeal and nuts ... kind of like oatmeal cookies. Only soft.

I used to make cubby houses and hiding holes in the blackberry bushes with my siblings when we were under ten, a great way to hide from the parents lol.. We used to eat them so would not get hungry haha.

Well, this is a timely post. We just found about 3 cups of blackberries in our yard that we picked today. We made some jelly with them last year but added a bunch of pectin. I'm glad to see that wasn't necessary for your recipe. I'm going to have to give that a try. Plus last time it said to take the seeds out and I like seeds, so I'll leave them in this time. 1.5 hours of boiling blackberries is a long time and that is a lot of sugar! Wow, 2 pounds? YIKES! I will have to dig up the recipe I used and get ours going. Or go hunt for some more blackberries and make even more! Last time I only got 3 tiny jars out of it and I think I had 4 cups of berries!

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I saw the recipe's using pectin, but kept looking until I found one that didn't need it. We didn't have any and wanted to make it with what we had. Now we have no caster sugar left, and I'm eating toast with this jam every morning. Just had some now.

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Sounds so tasty!

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