It’s August, and slowly but surely blackberries are appearing, plump and ready for picking. People have been picking them on our local marshes in London for a few weeks, but in some areas they are still ripening. It’s very satisfying (and cheap!) making something out of foraged fruit.
Last year me and the kids made blackberry jam – it was our first attempt and it turned out great (see recipe below)! It’s surprisingly straightforward to make and you can recycle old glass jam jars to store it in. It’s great on toast and swirled through porridge or yoghurt. For instant cheesecakes, top digestive biscuits with soft cheese mixed with sugar, and a dollop of blackberry jam.
Alternatively, leftover blackberries can be frozen in freezer bags then whizzed in a food processor with apple juice and a banana to make an instant smoothie, or the mixture can be poured in to ice lolly moulds to have later. Frozen blackberries can also be whizzed with some yoghurt and honey to make quick ice cream.
Check out http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/blackberry for lots more blackberry recipe ideas, including cakes, crumbles and drinks.
Blackberry jam (makes 2-3 jars)
Juice of 1 lemon
500g jam sugar with pectin (readily available)
Finely chop half the blackberries and mash the rest in to a pulp. Mix together then add the lemon juice and sugar. Mix again then leave to stand for 1 hour to draw out the juices.
Put in a saucepan and boil on a high bubbling heat for 8 minutes, skimming any foam off the surface. The mixture will be a little runny but don’t worry as it will thicken overnight as it cools in the jar.
Meanwhile, sterilise your jam jars by washing them then putting the jars and lids in the oven at 140 degrees/gas mark 1 for 10 minutes (or a dishwasher cycle).
Leave the jam to cool for 10 minutes then fill the jam jar. Stored in a cool, dark place for up to one year. Once opened refrigerate and use within 3 weeks.