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  1. #1
    pixie is offline Seedling
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    Default redcurrants and blackberries

    I have billions of redcurrant s and blackberries and there are trillions more blackberries to ripen yet. I have never made jam before - can anyone recommend a recipe to use up my crop? Do I need to buy any special equipment for my kitchen to make jam?

    The other thing is that all the brambles are ripening at different times, so I'm picking and freezing - is it OK to do this for jam? (Have already got the redcurrants in the freezer)

    The other thing I thought I might try was blackberry ice cream, but it won't use up that much of my crop so I think I'll have to do jam anyway. Has anyone else done blackberry ice cream?

  2. #2
    Flummery's Avatar
    Flummery is offline Gardening Guru
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    Jam's easy peasy. 2lb fruit to 2lb sugar. 2 - 3 tablespoons lemon juice.
    Was & drain the fruit, put in a BIG pan (there'l' be industrial boiling done soon!) and stew gently over a low heat till ot's a soft pulp. squash the fruit with a wooden spoon from time to time to ensure all the juice flows. Add the sugar and lemon juice and keep the heat low till the sugar's all dissolved. Boil rapidly (careful, it can get a bit volcanic of your pan's not beg enough) and keep stirring so it doesn't stick. From time to test it by putting a few drops on a cold plate. Let it cool (I stick it in the fridge for a few minutes) and if it doesn't flow and wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it's set. Pot in hot jard and seal.
    You might want to rub the fruit through a nylon sieve when it's cooked (and cooled a bit) to de-pip it. In this cae, measure the pulp and to each pint of pulp add a pound of sugar and proceed as above.
    I like bramble and apple - a good sharp cooking apple. 1lb brambles and 1 of apples with a couple of tablespoons water to cook. Otherwise as above. You get the pectin from the apples so you don't need the lemon juice.

    It's fine to hoard your fruit in the freezer till you have enough. My damson tree fruits very well and rather than make tons of jam in September I freeze some fruit and make several batches throughout the year.
    Whoever plants a garden believes in the future.

    www.vegheaven.blogspot.com Updated March 9th - Spring

  3. #3
    Hazel at the Hill's Avatar
    Hazel at the Hill is offline Gardening Guru
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    Thanks for that Flum - squirreled away for future ref - just a quick q - how long from volcanic boiling till you start to test for a set? 5 mins? 1 hour?

  4. #4
    Sue
    Sue is offline Cropper
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    Pixie
    You could make icecream but probably need to put the fruit through a sieve, be very pippy otherwise, also it might be a bit bland, could add some of the redcurrants or lemon juice.
    I did have a recipe that could be adapted, have to have a hunt for it.
    And no problem re freezing fruit little at a time, I'm doing it now with the blackberries and raspberries. Also means you can freeze them now and think what to do with them later and making jam, toiling away in a hot kitchen is much more pleasant in the depths of January.
    There are recipes for Blackberry gin and vodka too, a much better way of using them!
    best wishes
    Sue

  5. #5
    Flummery's Avatar
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    I usually start straight away Hazel, then re-test every 5 minutes. Some high pectin fruits can be ready to set immediately but most need 15 - 20 minutes boiling. I once had a marmalade that took 45 minutes - had nearly given up!
    Whoever plants a garden believes in the future.

    www.vegheaven.blogspot.com Updated March 9th - Spring

  6. #6
    bramble's Avatar
    bramble is online now Gardening Guru
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    If you are making jam with a fruit that is low in pectin use cider instead of water, it will help the jam to set quicker.

    And when your back stops aching,
    And your hands begin to harden.
    You will find yourself a partner,
    In the glory of the garden.

    Rudyard Kipling.

  7. #7
    veg4681's Avatar
    veg4681 is offline Cropper
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    I think blackberry jam is the easiest way if you want to use up a huge load that would have otherwise taken up precious freezer space. And they make decent tasting jam too from what I remember.

    I think I tried blackberry ice cream once many many years ago and it was alright but nothing as good as strawberry/raspberry ice cream. There is a recipe in "The best of Sainsbury's Desserts" book that uses 1 lb blackberry serving 8 people if it's any help. Let me know if you want the recipe.

    I came across a suggestion (American website) for making preserve as in soaking blackberries in brandy?? and maple syrup to be used as dessert sauce. Then you could also Google for "hedgerow recipes", has blackberry cordial recipe but then again, I read somewhere they tend to taste like cough mixture???

    For me personally, I'd lilke to freeze the bramble as they are and use them up for apple pies and crumbles when blackberry is not in season...such luxury! I had blackberry and apple crumble a week ago and it was splendid and also I used a lot more blackberries than apples because I had to buy the apples!!! (my apple crop failed this year). Sorry can't say much about blackcurrent, no experience on this fruit.
    Food for Free

  8. #8
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
    Two_Sheds is offline Compost Everything...
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    It's all too much of a faff for me. I'm just freezing the fruit, then adding it to smoothies, porridge, ice cream etc as required. No extra sugar intaken, either, as OH is on a diet (just doesn't know it)
    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

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