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. Arthur Thompson

    Now this Recipe reminds me of what my Granny used to make a long time ago, but then in those days Jam Jars were hard to find, but we did not know how to make how to make such delightfull Jam, as like all children you have to learn before you Walk

  2. Terri Macaskill

    love all your recipes but wish there was an easy way to print them – computer upstairs and kitchen downstairs!!! Or am I missing something?

    • We did have a neat add-on for that, Terri, but we stopped paying for it when Fiona stropped writing.
      Maybe I will have a look for an alternative. It does need something, I agree.

    • I use google chrome as my browser on my iPad and then use google cloud print (you could use AirPrint) to send things to the printer. Of course, you have to remember to leave the printer on and the computer if the printer is not a networked one and you still have to collect the printout from the printer but at least you don’t have to run upstairs straight away.

    • just print the web page from your browser settings!
      or copy and paste into word and print that!

  3. Lovely lovely recipe, thank you

  4. Patricia

    Followed to the letter but was tasteless have you any ideas and any ideas of how I can rectify this?

    • Add the juice of a lemon and also throw in the skins and pips whilst the fruit is boiling. Helps with taste and set. Use less apples and more blackberries too

  5. I bought a second hand jam pan the other day. I’ve tried two jams and a chutney so far, with mixed success. But I made this recipe yesterday – following your tips for setting – and it worked! I’m the proud maker of some delicious jam – it will live on too as Christmas presents. Thank you!

  6. MarchHare

    Fantastic recipe! All the taste but no pips to stick in your teeth and no hassle with jelly bags. The left over quarter pot has gone in less than 24 hours!

  7. Irene Kelly

    Great recipe. Thank you. The pips in the jam spoil it for me, so this is such a great idea. I am going out tomorrow again to pick more and will freeze them for the first time. Great year in Ireland this year for blackberries.

  8. Fiona Smith

    This is lovely! I wasn’t sure about taking the seeds out, but it’s worked really well because the blackberries were very small. I used some lemon juice and rind for a little sharpness to balance out the sweetness and about 25% less sugar than the recipe – just boiled it for longer; about 20 mins. I’m delighted with the results.

  9. Sheila Beaney

    I have just made this jam and it has turned out beautiful going picking again soon to make some more for my sons and it will be great in a Victoria sandwich with fresh cream or butter cream.

  10. Terri Grinstead

    Brilliant, thank you so much for this recipe it is so easy to make and no seeds!
    The ‘Taster pot’ has gone down well at breakfast.

    • Terri Grinstead

      Made it again this year as we have only just run out of the last batch! Kids love that there are not ‘hard bits’, thanks again for the idea.

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