blackberry jam

Each year at Christmas time, I like to make handmade gifts to give to my neighbours, colleagues and friends. So far I've made cookies, peppermint bark and a few batches of nut brittle but I also made some blackberry jam, one of my favourite kinds.

It's blackberry season here at the moment. You can make this jam from either fresh or frozen berries and the results will be delicious. My brother grows blackberries in his garden but I have to buy mine from the fruit shop or rely on berries from the freezer section of the supermarket. I topped some scones with cream and a good dollop of this jam and it was so yummy.

Here's the recipe for you which makes two 400ml pots of jam. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20ml tablespoon and I found the cute little jam pots at IKEA. The 'home made' tag is from Paperboat Press.

Blackberry Jam 

2 cups white sugar
1 lemon
675g fresh or frozen blackberries, if fresh washed and dried
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.

Juice the lemon and reserve the seeds. Place the seeds in a small piece of muslin and tie with kitchen string to secure. Combine the blackberries, lemon juice, lemon seeds and lemon halves, the vanilla pod and sugar in a shallow saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil stirring occasionally for 20 minutes or until jam is reduced by one-quarter. Cook, stirring occasionally until jam has reached it’s setting point (105°C).

To check when 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, the lemon halves and the vanilla pod from the jam. 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'll be back again next Monday with Christmas Week 2017. I've been baking up a storm and as a result, my work colleagues have been very happy. Every day there will be a new and delicious recipe for you, which I can't wait to share.

See you all again next week.

Bye for now,


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