Now is the time to collect blackberries and make this wonderful jam. I have never had blackberry jam before and I guarantee that every year, I will be looking forward to it.
In the words of Granny Dot: (for more information from the book, see the end of this recipe.)
‘Wash the berries and pick off the stalks. Put into a preserving-pan, press with a wooden spoon, and let them simmer in their own juice until well heated and the juice is flowing freely. Rub through a hair sieve. Measure the pulp, and to each pint add 3/4 lb of sugar. Return the pulp to the pan with the sugar, stir well until it boils, then boil fast until it sets on being tested, about 25 minutes. Put into pots and cover.’
(The Daily Mail Fruit and Vegetable Preserving Book 1920, Mrs C.S. Peel)
Ingredients for 1 large pot
1 pint/568mls seived Blackberries
3/4 lb /340g Preserving sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1. Put the blackberries in a heavy based pan over a low heat. When they are beginning to warm through, mash them with a potato masher to help the juice flow.
2. When the juice is freely flowing, put them into a seive and press the juice though.
3. Put the juice into a measuring jug and weigh out a suitable amount of sugar, following the quantities above and dividing or multiplying accordingly, and add it to the blackberry juice in a heavy based pan.
4. Slowly heat the mixture until the sugar melts, and then turn up the heat. You may use a thermometer and take the jam to about 100 degrees C/212 degrees F. Add the lemon juice for a little zing.
4. Whether or not you have a thermometer, take a cold plate and put a blob of the hot jam onto it. Leave it for a few seconds and then run your finger through it to see if it crinkles or if it leaves a trail, then it is ready. I find that if you take it right up to the jam setting point of 105 degrees C/220F, it is a bit too far as the jam may be too stiff.
5. Remove it from the heat and let it settle while you sterilise jars. I pour boiling water into a jar and pour it out after a few seconeds. It quickly dries out but if necessary, put it in a warm oven to do so.
6. Pour the jam into the jar and seal with wax paper. I admit to being lazy and so I just fill it very full, pop a lid on and dig in quickly. But if it is to be used later, then do seal it with a round of wax paper as jam does keep for ages, after all, so it would be sensible to do that (unlike me though if I ever pick loads of them, I will follow my instructions!)
‘The high price of food has brought about many chance in our domestic life, and it has caused us to make use of edible material which in other days was left to waste.
Take, for example, the contents of our gardens: in pre-war days we bought bottled and tinner fruits and vegetables, but comparatively few of us preserved our own garden produce in any other way than by making jam.
During and since the war the art of Home Preserving has become far more general, and it is likely to increase as women realise that many processes of preservation are simple, and that th economy of using home produce is very great.
“Daily Mail” readers demanded a “Dailly Mail” Cookery Book, and it was published; they demanded a Fruit and Vegetable Preserving Book, and here it is. By its aid I hope that many a larder which otherwise would be sparsley stocked with fruit and vegetables during the winter months, will now be fully supplied.’
(The Daily Mail Fruit and Vegetable Book, 1920, DOROTHY C. PEEL )