I made blackberry jam today. We've found a bunch of brambles round here, all covered with luscious fruit. Super cool. And free! I've never made blackberry jam so I followed the usual rules re: weight of fruit and sugar and a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice. I let it boil and froth for five minutes and took my pre-cooled saucer out of the freezer to do the 'wrinkle' text on and it didn't 'wrinkle'.
Am so not a jam expert.
I let it keep boiling, tested again, still not 'wrinkling'. (Whatever the heck that means.) Took it off after fifteen minutes and unsurprisingly it has set too hard. Crapola.
Oh well, it has other uses.
First, it took me straight back to my Grandma's kitchen. I don't even precisly remember her making blackberry jam but oh my goodness the smell of that jam on the stove! Ka-bam!
We went blackberrying every year when we were kids. Not on the farm, the brambles were all sprayed and under control, but around the cemetery, up and down the roads. Mum and Dad both remember blackberrying with a plank that allowed you to get right in the middle of the bushes. Long sleeves, always.
I have a coffee date later this week which I've just converted to a blackberrying date. I need to try the jam again. And how much more fun is bramble surfing?!
Meanwhile, I used it in a slice.
Chocolate and blackberry jam slice
(This would work with any kind of berry jam, blackberry is just nice and waxy and tart. Goes well with chocolate.)
125g butter, melted
1 cup self-raising flour
half cup dessicated coconut
half cup brown sugar
Mix all the base ingredients together and press into a greased, floured and paper-lined shallow slice tin (18cm x 28cm). Bake for 12 mins on 180degC.
When cooked and cooled, spread with jam.
Melt approx a cup of chocolate buttons, or 150g chopped dark chocolate. Spread over jam and allow to set.
Sprinkle with unsweetened cocoa to serve.
There's something else significant about my Grandma's kitchen: I'm moving to it shortly.
We're pulling up stakes on our rented acre, and moving down to the family farm. It's timely and exciting, we're building up our farm business, all our animals are there, and we're making a crazy number of trips across town every day at present.
We promised ourselves this would be a year of adventure.
One month down, eleven to go.
How is your February panning out? Been blackberrying this year? Does this slice look easy? It IS!!! And can anyone explain what I'm looking for on my saucer? No jammy wrinkles here.