The Cottage Smallholder

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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


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


  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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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Margaret,

    Thanks for your tips. Preserving sugar is a good one if the fruit (blackberry) doesn’t contain much pectin. Adding lemon juice helps as well. So pleased that you found us and made a comment.

  2. Hi everybody,
    Have been making blackberry jelly for past two years, there’s an enormous crop again this year in Southern Ireland. I make jelly also because of the pips but decided to try and sieve blackberries yesterday and combine with apples so was delighted to find your recipe. I use preserving sugar and only have to fast boil for one minute generally, also add lemon juice, gives great result very easily.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi z,

    I know that apple skins contain pectin. Not sure about the pips.

    The jam is scrummy.

    Hi Amanda,

    It’s well worth bunging blackberries in the freezer as they are great in the winter in a crumble or sauce.

  4. This sounds lovely! Hubby and the boys made blackberry jam last year, with pips. Before we went on holiday we picked some blackberries growing in the garden, froze them for our return. We’ve picked some more and just keep adding them to the freezer until we decide what to do with them.

  5. That’s a good recipe – the ‘body’ of jam, but without pips and no need to core the apples either. I wonder if the pips add pectin, as orange pips do in marmalade?

    I usually make jelly, although I like pips. But no one else in the family does.

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Dragon,

    Why not pick some blackberries and freeze them so they are there to make the jam when you are settled in.

    Hi Celia,

    I love the way you are so inventive with recipes. Damson and crab apples are perfect partners. Hope that the jam works for you too.

    Hi Joanna,

    It is easy and delicious too.

    Hi Richard,

    Lucky you having parents that pick for you. It took me five hours to pick five pounds of blackberries this week!

    Interesting to hear about the blackberry jelly, what a shame it didn’t work out.

  7. I’ve just ditched my first batch of blackberry jelly (there’s a blog post pending!) – I tried to do it neat (with liquid pectin rather than apples) but it was an abject failure – no chance of setting.
    I’m getting some more blackberries in this evening as it happens (my parents are bringing me some – they are looking to move and are not making jam or freezing anything, but can’t help themselves picking when they see them!) so will have a go at your recipe…

  8. What a good recipe … just as easy as jelly, and without pips … and lovely for you that it’s an old family recipe

    Thanks for sharing


  9. Another fantastic recipe Fiona! Yesterday I made Damson Cheese – found your recipe when I googled, it was 2nd, behind Mrs Beeton’s! I added crab apples to the damsons (just because they were there) – intense! purple! delicious! You can’t beat home-made fruit preserves on toast. I might just have to make this one too.

  10. The Dragon

    Oooh keep posting the recipes I love them and I really fancy trying this one as soon as we get settled in our new place (without the land you have *sigh*

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