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Blackberry and apple jam recipe

blackberry detailIt was Anne Mary that pointed out that apple and blackberry jam would be full of blackberry pips.
“They’d get stuck in your teeth and drive you mad. Stick to bramble jelly.”

I love jelly. We make loads of jelly every year. More often than not it is used as a base for a sauce rather than dolloped on a plate of roast lamb or pork.

Imagine my delight when I found this recipe for Blackberry and Apple Jam in my aunt’s ancient handwritten cookbook. As it is sieved there are no seeds and the jam is delicious, spread on hot buttered toast in the morning.

Blackberry and Apple Jam recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1k (roughly 2lb) of blackberries
  • 350g (12ozs) of apples (eating apples, windfalls are fine)
  • Water
  • White granulated sugar

Method:

  1. Core and roughly chop the apples (skin on).
  2. Put the apples, cores and blackberries in a large preservaing pan or large heavy bottomed saucepan. Add just enough water to cover and simmer until soft.
  3. Sieve the softened fruit and weigh the sieved pulp (discard the skins and seeds left in the sieve). Add 450g (1lb) of sugar for each 450g (1lb) of sieved pulp.
  4. Put sieved pulp and sugar into a large heavy bottomed saucepan (or preserving pan) and heat very gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Bring the jam to the boil and continue to boil very rapidly for about 8-10 minutes until the jam reaches setting point. (What is setting point? See tricks and tips below).
  6. When the jam has set, carefully pour into warm, sterilised jars, using a ladle or small jug (How to sterilise jars? See tricks and tips below)
  7. Cover the jars with tight fitting screw-top lids, or waxed disks and cellophane pot covers (waxed disks, wax facing downwards and plastic covers secured with plastic bands).
  8. Label when cold and store in a cool, dark place, away from damp.

Tricks and Tips:

  • Jam “set” or “setting point”:
    Getting the right set can be tricky. I have tried using a jam thermometer but find it easier to use the following method. Before you start to make the jam, put a couple of plates in the fridge so that the warm jam can be drizzled onto a cold plate (when we make jam we often forget to return the plate to the fridge between tests, using two plates means that you have a spare cold plate). Return the plate to the fridge to cool for approx two minutes. It has set when you run your finger through it and leave a crinkly track mark. If after two minutes the cooled jam is too liquid, continue to boil the jam, testing it every few minutes until you have the right set. The jam is far more delicious if it is slightly runny.
  • Sterilising the jars:
    We collect jars all year round for our jelly, chutney and jam making sessions. I try to soak off labels and store the clean jars and metal plastic coated screw-top lids in an accessible place. The sterilising method that we used is simple. Just before making the jam, I quickly wash and rinse the jars and place them upside down in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 160c/140c for fan assisted. When the oven has reached the right temperature I turn off the heat. The jars will stay warm for quite a while. I only use plastic lined lids for preserves as the all-metal lids can go rusty. I boil these for five minutes in water to sterilise them. If I use Le Parfait jars, I do the same with the rubber rings.

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237 Comments

  1. Hello,

    I followed your recipe exactly and had a beautiful result using up my 2012 crop of blackberries. It has set beautifully and is clear and yummy.

    It will be used to make cream teas special for my choir charity tea party 😉

    Jane x

  2. Just a quick thank you for this lovely recipe, my first jam making in probably 20+ years and it’s set perfectly!
    The effort in sieving is worth it so the jam will get snaffled up by us all!

  3. Hi.
    Great site!
    First ever attempt at quince jelly yesterday here in France. Thought it hadn’t set as plate tests etc, it was still very runny. Abandonned it and let it in pot overnight – thought it might be the altitude as we are over 1800m here in the alps so boiling points are different…hey ho, it has set in the pan!!! what do I do now – can I reheat and then put in jars or will it not reheat and gel again? thanks. D

  4. Re Freezing jam ingredients

    I have read that freezing affects the pectin needed to make the jam set, so you may need to add extra pectin when making your jam, though I cant vouch for this from personal experience. Unfortunately I only read this after making and freezing pectin stock from a glut of crab apples. Does anyone know if its true?

  5. Just read through some of the comments for this recipe and I think there are a couple of people who may be a bit confused – like me about the liquid and pulp bit. If you cook the fruit in a pan and then sieve the fruit to get the seeds out you are left with the pulp which has to be weighed but there is often an amount of liquid left in the pan which seems wrong to waste as it has all the fruit juices in it. Should you add the juice to the pulp and then weigh it or do you just weigh the pulp?

    • Fiona Nevile

      All you discard are the skins and the seeds – you use the juice and the pulp!

  6. bizzylizzy

    Hi, We have a wedding in June 2012 and hope to make apple and blackberry jam, apple and mint jelly and chutney as favours. I was planning on stewing and making the apple and blackberry pulp then freezing until nearer the time to make the jam as I’m worried that it wont keep well until next June. Also for the Apple/mint jelly was going to stew and strain the apple and mint and freeze the liquid, then make the jelly nearer the time. Will this work with the ingredients having been frozen. Only doing this as I have so many apples right now and I wont have them in May/June next year. Would appreciate anmy advice

  7. Hi, thanks for the advice, I am currently making your jam using the recommended quantities. However, after sieving I seem to be left with pretty much just liquid because most of the fruit has not gone through the sieve. It’s super soft, but still won’t go through. Am I using the wrong sieve, or is there a technique I don’t know about?!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Isla

      I think that your seive is too fine. Basically the idea is to get rid of the blackberry seeds. I use a mouli these days.

  8. Hello, I’m a novice jam maker and about to make this jam with wild fruit from the hedgerows around my area. Can I half the ingredients and still follow the same method? Or double them? Also, I haven’t got jars yet, can I use normal supermarket jars i.e. pasta sauce jars?!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Isla

      If you are a novice jam maker don’t fiddle about with the recipe. Doubling it would make it 5 x harder/halving it would effect the timings, You can use big jars/tiny jars etc as once the jam is ready it doesn™t mind different sized jars although the smaller jars won’t last as long as the bigger jars.

  9. This is a great recipe. Made it first last September when we had wonderful blackberries. They haven’t been as good or as plentiful this year – I think it has been too cold bit I’ve managed to gather enough for a batch of blackberry jelly.

    Love this site with all the ideas and tips. Thanks.

  10. My friend and I made this yesterday. We live in Washington State and I discovered this jam last year while on Holiday in Ireland with my parents. we LOVE it! It turned out super yummy and I have enough to make at least 1-2 more batches. Thanks for the great recipe!!!

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