Preserving the Season – Seedless Blackberry Jam

Preserving the Season – Seedless Blackberry Jam: A delectable taste of the season, this lovely bramble jam is seedless, and is perfect on toast, crumpets and scones as well as in homemade cakes. You can also heat it up to drizzle over ice cream or dollop it on top of baked rice pudding.


Brambles


Seedless Bramble Jam

It’s true to say that I think Summer is nearly over, the evenings are cooler and the mist has been rolling in over the maintains behind our home here in North Wales. However, although we’ve had a wonderful summer this year with hot, sunny days for weeks over May, June and July, I am ready for the next season, Autumn, which happens to be my favourite season of the year. I love this time of year and the prospect of wood fires, cosy nights in, comforting casseroles with dumplings and steamed puddings capped with fragrant fruits…..it’s also a time for harvesting garden fruit and vegetables, as well as foraging for hedgerow treasures such as blackberries, damsons, bullaces, sloes, rowan berries and hips and haws. I love brambling, or blackberrying as it is often called, and I get quite possessive about “my patch”! So far this season I’ve picked well over 8lbs of brambles, all of which have made it to my table in crumbles, pies, dumplings, jams and jellies. Today’s recipe for Preserving the Season is my mum’s recipe for Seedless Blackberry Jam, a favourite from my childhood which brings back memories of a cosy kitchen with freshly baked bread that was spread with this fragrant jam.


Seedless Bramble Jam

It’s a simple recipe that needs a little bit of time to make, as the stewed fruit sits in a jelly bag (or a muslin) overnight to release its rich, red juices for jamming next day. Then it’s just a case of measuring the juice and adding the correct weight of sugar and boiling the juice and sugar until it reaches setting point, all of which is explained below in the printable recipe card. Mum’s recipe uses a lot of lemon juice which results in a lovely, tangy jam that is packed with blackberry flavours but isn’t too sweet, just the way we like it. The extra lemon juice also helps with the set, adding extra pectin to a fruit that is low in pectin. I use white cane sugar as my preferred sugar and NEVER jam sugar, which contains a few “chemical nasties” that you don’t need in a lovely jam like this. Cane sugar gives a clearer finish to any jams or  jellies, but white granulated sugar is also fine to use in this recipe. You can make small batches of this jam as well as large batches, the only restriction is the size of your jelly bag or muslin…..mine takes up to 3 kilos of fruit.


Seedless Bramble Jam

Now is the time to gather your blackberries, you must pick them before Devil’s Spit Day, the 10th October is Old Michaelmas Day and is also called “Devil Spits Day”, it’s the last day that blackberries should be picked, according to old British folklore. This is known as the day that the Devil came to earth….he fell from the skies straight onto a blackberry bush, whereupon he cursed the fruit, scorched them with his fiery breath, stamped on them and then spat on them making them unfit to eat. Although in my experience they are usually a little past their sell-by date by this stage, a bit “blown”, mouldy and/or maggoty. If, like me, you manage to pick a lot, then just pop them into the freezer for later berry enjoyment, such as a midwinter pie or crumble, or some winter jam making, as you can still use frozen berries to make jam. My mum’s recipe is shared below, and I hope you enjoy this jam if you make it as much as we all do as a family, have a fabulous weekend, Karen 


Blackberry Jam

Seedless Blackberry Jam

A delectable taste of the season, this lovely bramble jam is seedless, and is perfect on toast, crumpets as well as in homemade cakes. You can also heat it up to drizzle over ice cream or dollop it on top of baked rice pudding.

Ingredients

  • 900g (2lbs) brambles/blackberries
  • 150ml (1/4 pint) water
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • White granulated or cane sugar

Note

A delectable taste of the season, this lovely bramble jam is seedless, and is perfect on toast, crumpets as well as in homemade cakes. You can also heat it up to drizzle over ice cream or dollop it on top of baked rice pudding.

Directions

Step 1 Place the blackberries into a pan with the water and lemon juice, and simmer over a low heat until the blackberries are soft, pressing them all the time with the back of a wooden spoon.
Step 2 Strain through a jelly bag, muslin or a clean tea towel over a bowl overnight. You can squeeze the fruit to extract more juice, but the jam will not be as clear.
Step 3 The next day, measure the juice and weigh out 450g (1lb) sugar for every 600ml (1 pint) of liquid.
Step 4 Place the juice and the sugar into a pan together and heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Bring it all up to a rolling boil and allow to boil until setting point has been reached.**
Step 5 Pour or ladle the jam into clean, hot and sterilised jars and seal immediately.
Step 6 Add a label once the jars are cold and store in a dark, cool and dry place until needed.
Step 7 Setting Point**
Flake test – dip a large spoon into the pan of jam and scoop out a spoonful – hold the spoon horizontally over the pan of jam and allow the jam to drip……setting point has been reached when the jam forms a long drip-like webbed feet, and hangs without dropping from the spoon.
Cold saucer test – Place two or three saucers into the freezer; spoon a spoonful of jam onto the cold saucer, and push it with your finger, setting point has been reached when the jam wrinkles and isn’t runny.
Temperature test – Use a sugar thermometer and place the thermometer into a jug of boiling water just before testing for a set; lower the thermometer into the jam and setting point has been reached when the reading is 104.5C (220F)


Seedless Bramble Jam

More BLACKBERRY Recipes:

Homemade Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Fairy Cake Buns (Muffins)


Apple Pie Fairs, Fresh Figs and Blackberry, Apple and Raspberry Tart

Muddling Along, Summer Memories: Jumble Berry Crumble with Shortbread Topping


Apple, Bramble & Pear Tray Bake

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