March 16th, 2022Recipes with Jen Clarke
The blackberries have been prolific this year, but quite small, which means it takes longer to pick enough for jam. It’s a pretty awful job…put on some music or a podcast and try not to get too scratched by the thorns. With berry jams I usually use a sugar thermometer to test for the setting point, works every time.
For every kilogram of blackberries use the juice of one lemon and 1kg of sugar. I know it’s a lot of sugar, it’s jam: don’t overthink it.
Wash the berries and drain through a colander or sieve. Pick out any stalks. Put the berries and lemon juice into a large pan and cook gently until the berries are soft but there are some that still hold their shape. Give them a squash with a potato masher but don’t make it too runny.
Add sugar and give it a good stir to dissolve it, at least five minutes or it might crystallise. Increase the heat and boil until it reaches 100C, skimming as you go. This can take anything from 10–30 minutes, depending on the pectin in the fruit. Start testing after 10 or 15 minutes.
To test if you haven’t got a thermometer: Put a saucer in the freezer. When you think the jam is ready, put a spoonful on the plate and return to the freezer for a few minutes to cool. Run your finger through the jam and if it wrinkles it’s done.
Remove jam from the heat, skim again and let it cool slightly. Stir well and pour into sterilised jars and seal. Keep in a cool dark place and admire your culinary brilliance before eating it on a piece of toast.