Monday, 31 July 2017

Ummmmmmmm - blackberry jelly cooking

The kitchen smells WONDERFUL, as once again I only got about 4 1/2 hours' sleep (20 minutes more than the previous night!) and so I have been busy downstairs, as the other side effect of the steroids is that they make you totally hyper.  So I dived into the bottom of the freezer, chucked out some beans from last year, and some frozen pitta breads which have been there . . . ahem, a year too long! - and now have all the blackberries remaining from last year's crop (4 lbs) boiling away in my jam pan and smelling really autumny.

I've done some ironing, put the rubbish out, fed the cats, read a bit of my book (Peter May's The Chessmen which is the third of his Lewis trilogy, and excellent reading, all of them.)  I've gone through the cupboards and recycled some old empty spice jars and the surfeit of Lidl cherry jars (there is a limit to how many I need for preserves) and started a loaf of bread off in my Panasonic breadmaker.  I've moved pictures around and taken down some which I think had become more of a habit and I can live without and which will go in the Unit to be sold.  So not a bad start to the day.

I am off into town shortly as one of my inhalers isn't working properly and doesn't deliver a proper dose so that will need replacing.  I have one puff of the Fostair 200 and one of the Fostair 100 twice a day, and it's the 100 one which isn't working of course.

Right, back later, when hopefully my brain will feel less fried and I have stopped bouncing off the walls from the steroid energy.

I'm using this book for a change.  The recipe is simple (and pretty well the same in all my preserves books):


Take 1 kg(2 lb 4 oz) Blackberries
1 litre (1 3/4 pints) water
Caster sugar (see step 3 for quantity)
4 tablespoons lemon juice

Place the washed fruit in a large jam pan with the water and lemon juice, and bring slowly to the boil.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring and mashing the fruit well.

Strain through a jelly bag or muslin-lined nylon sieve, set over a large bowl.  Don't be tempted to press the fruit or squeeze the bag as this will cause the jelly to become cloudy.  Leave until the dripping has stopped - this may take several hours or leave overnight.

When the dripping has stopped, discard the solids in the jelly bag and carefully measure the resulting liquid.  Return it to the preserving pan along with 450g (1 lb) caster sugar for each 600ml (1 pint) of liquid.  Stir well over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely.

Increase the heat and boil rapidly for 10 - 15 minutes, before testing for a set.  If necessary, boil for a further minute then test again.  Continue testing at 1 minute intervals, as necessary, until the jelly has reached setting point.

Remove the pan from the heat, skim off any scum and allow the jelly to cool briefly.  Carefully pour the jelly into hot sterilised jars.  Seal the jars and allow the jelly to cool completely before labelling and storing.


  1. Pretty great post today.
    Do you use a water bath also ? I know nothing about canning.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. No parsnip - in Britain we don't do that - we only use that if we are bottling fruit. The jars get sterilized in a low oven and I either use new lids (when they will fit the jars I'm using) or the old ones get sterilized in boiling water before use. There was just a couple of spoonfuls left over which I think I will have on toast for breakfast tomorrow morning - chef's perks!

  2. Yummy. love bramble delly its a big favourite in our household. Its lovely with scones and with cream cheese. I have that book and use the recipes on a regular basis. Simplest is often the best.

    Catch you soon.

    1. I'm the only jam eater here, so don't make much jam these days - what I do make goes as gifts. I am making some Hedgepick Jam too, from the contents of the bottom of the freezer, and will give this to the guys who have the Shoot on Next Door's farm, and we get given pheasant in winter in return.

  3. i really likes your blog and You have shared the whole concept really well. and Very beautifully soulful read! thanks for sharing.

  4. Hello piseth san, thank you for your comment. It's just a story of my days, spent in a quiet Welsh river valley, in an old house with bats and cats. . .


  5. Your blog is very useful for me.I really like you post.Thanks for sharing.