home-made blackberry jam

I think I've finally worked out the best way to bake bread in my new oven so to put my theory to the test I made these sourdough fruit buns. Once they were underway, I decided that I needed to serve them with blackberry jam.

Now I didn't have any blackberry jam in my pantry just plum jam. As far as I know there is nothing wrong with the plum jam, I just wanted blackberry jam.

It's not even blackberry season in Sydney but I knew I had a packet of frozen berries in my deep freeze. I had sugar, lemons, vanilla bean and a few spare jars so off to the kitchen I went to make some jam. 

I take pleasure from the knowledge that if I need to bake bread or make jam, as long as I have the ingredients in the house, I can.

I used one of my Le Creuset pans in which I both preheated the sugar and made the jam. Preheating the sugar really speeds up the process and the jam was made in just over 20 minutes. You don't really need any special equipment to make jam but I've found a thermometer an invaluable item. I can't tell you how many pots of inedible fruit toffee I made in the past before I bought one. It doesn't tell you if the jam is ready but it tells you when it's time to test the setting point. 

If you too would like to make jam, you can and here's the recipe for you. As always I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Blackberry Jam (adapted this recipe) Makes two 500ml jars 

2½ cups granulated white sugar  
1 lemon juiced, seeds reserved  
825g fresh or frozen blackberries 
1 vanilla pod  

To sterilize jars, wash in hot soapy water and rinse. Place the jars and lids in a deep saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring water to the boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes. Line a baking tray with paper towel. Remove the jars using metal tongs and allow to air dry or dry with a clean paper towel.  

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the sugar on an oven tray and warm the sugar for 15 minutes. Meanwhile place a saucer in the freezer to test the jam’s setting point.  

Place the lemon seeds in a small piece of muslin and tie with kitchen string to secure. Combine the blackberries, lemon juice, lemon seeds, the vanilla pod and sugar in a shallow saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolvesBring to the boil stirring occasionally for minutes to allow the berries to soften before coarsely mashing the fruit with a potato masher. Continue to cook for a further 15 minutes or until jam has reached it's  setting point ~ 105ºC. To test when the jam is set, remove the jam from the heat and place a spoonful of hot jam onto the chilled saucer. Return to the freezer for 1 minute. Run your finger through the jam to test if it wrinkles and jells. If it doesn't, return to the heat for a further 5 minutes then repeat the test. 

Remove the lemon seeds and vanilla pod from the jam. Discard the lemon seeds but the vanilla pod can be washed, dried and reused. Take the jam from the heat and allow to cool for a minute or 2 before spooning the hot jam evenly among the sterilized jars. Seal immediately then turn the jars upside down for 2 minutes before turning upright. Set the jam aside to cool completely before labelling and dating.  

I now have 2 pots of home-made blackberry jam in my pantry. The jam is lovely and dark, a bit runny and very delicious.

Happy jam making,

Bye for now,



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