Today's recipe - Blackberry Jam (seeds left in...perfer a bit of texture, rather than a smooth jelly)
- 1 Kg of blackberries (picked last week, and frozen - so i just defrosted them on the hob and cooekd them to a pulp)
- 1Kg of Jam Sugar (the silverspoon stuff with added pectin)
- Lemon Juice
(at this point, if you want to make a smooth seedless jelly rather than a jam - then you can rub through a fine sieve or leave to drip through muslin overnight, to get just the juice and use this instead....there are recipes (try Pam Corbin) for this)
without boiling, stir in the sugar and lemon juice, and make sure it all dissolves.
Do a taste test at this point too. there are 2000 different varieties of blackberries and they all taste slightly differently.
This batch was made from the first flush of big juicy ones from a south facing hedge of brambles, so didn't need any more sweetening and they were even sweet to eat raw.
If you like it a bit more tart, adjust the sugar accordingly, but you may need to add some more pectin (throw in a chopped cooking apple, or powdered pectin as required)
If you like it sweeter, add more normal sugar, the pectin sugar will do it's bit, don't need to add more.
once you're happy with it, then turn the heat up, put a long sleeve top and gloves on to stop boiling jam from spitting all over your skin, stir continuously to stop it sticking and burning.
once it's on a full boil, then it should take about 4 minutes of boiling to reach the setting point.
if you want to stick a thermometer in to test it feel free, 104 degrees C is what you need to aim for, or just go by the feel of it, you notice it thickening once the setting point is reached, and have a chilled plate at the ready to test a blob of it on for setting.
remember it continues to set further as it cools...so it will always feel a little looser at jaring stage then it will actually turn out.
as soon as your happy with it, funnel it into pre-heated/sterilised jars, lid, and seal.
essentially...as long as you have enough pectin, and as long as you boil for 4 minutes, it will set to something between a soft set jelly, and a fully set jam - as the berries will always be slightly different each time, you'll rarely get the same result twice....but that's surely the fun of foraged produce.