I’ve been meaning to add a bramble (blackberry) jam recipe to the blog for some time now. Not only is it my very favourite jam, the berries can be found all over the place in late summer/early autumn in this part of the world.
Thing is, I actually don’t make bramble jelly myself. I could and I would except that the world’s bramble-jelly-master is actually my Dad and it would be silly not to take advantage of that.
So today my Dad is guest posting. Below, in his own words, are Dad’s very thorough and totally fool-proof instructions for making some absolutely cracking bramble and apple jelly. Enjoy.
Bramble and Apple Jelly
2 kg wild brambles
½ Kg green apples
Around 1 ½ Kg sugar
Gently wash the brambles in a basin of water and pick out the floating bits. Pour out the water and place the brambles in a pot. Wash and core (do not peel) the apples then chop them into 10mm slices and add to the brambles. Add around 50mm of cold water to the bottom of the pot and place it on a medium ring.
When the water has started to boil through the fruit reduce the heat to a good simmer and stir occasionally. Continue simmering for around 20 minutes or until all the brambles and apples have softened into a lovely deep red goo. At this point it may help to squeeze the mix very gently against the side of the pot with a large spoon as this can release extra juice from the brambles.
Turn off the heat and allow the goo to cool slightly then pour it into a jelly bag suspended above a large bowl to catch the juice. This should be left to drip for a few hours or even overnight.
Weigh the juice then pour it into a pot and bring it to the boil. (Note you may wish to use only a portion of the juice to make jelly and freeze the rest for later. See * below.) Add the sugar to the pot using same Kg sugar for Kg juice and stir it in gently. Note it is not necessary to use jam sugar as the green apples do the same job as the pectin in jam sugar. Bring the pot back to a fairly active boil and stir it occasionally. Continue to boil for about 15 minutes then test the jelly.
To test the jelly I find the following method is simple and works well. Place an ice cube in a shallow bowl and on top of a piece of kitchen roll to prevent it slipping about. Dip a soup spoon into the boiling jelly then remove it with only a skin of jelly on the spoon. Place the spoon on the ice cube and with the handle resting on the rim of the bowl. This cools the spoon quickly and if the jelly is ready there should be fairly stiff film on the surface of the spoon.
When the jelly is ready remove it from the heat and let it stand for a few minutes then pour it into sterilised jars. As soon as the jars are cool cover the surface of the jelly with a generous layer of cling film tucked well into the sides of the jar then seal the lid.
The jelly will stay fresh in the fridge for a few months but the jelly also freezes very well if you wish to keep it for use over the winter.
* It is also very useful to freeze a container of the juice if you wish to make fresh jelly later in the year.
* The juice is also very good as a base for a fruit coulis and it can also be useful to fill a few yogurt containers or small jars and freeze them.
(the man himself)