I’d never made jam before. But there I was, with half a kilo of tenderly foraged blackberries, so plainly perfect for a jar of jam. So with excitement and a certain nervousness, I set about the job. However, as seasoned jam-makers will know, I soon realised that making jam is very easy indeed – and now I’m only wondering why on earth I hadn’t attempted it sooner.
Especially this time of year, making jam is a wonderful way of encapsulating the flavours of summer for the scarcer months ahead. You don’t even need fancy gadgets like a thermometer. Just fruit, sugar, perhaps some spices, and you’re good to go. My batch was promptly spooned on top of a pungent Camembert. Too good for words.
(makes 475 g or one jar of jam):
500 g blackberries
1 apple, peeled and core removed, chopped
200 g caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
4-5 tablespoons water
1. Put everything in a saucepan and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
2. Turn up the heat, bring to a rolling boil and boil rapidly for 10-12 minutes – don’t stir.
3. Test to see if the jam has set: spoon a little onto a cold plate, leave for a minute and then push the jam with your finger. If the jam crinkles and separates without flooding back, setting point has been reached.
4. Leave for 15 minutes or until cool and pour into a sterilised jar.