One of the very best crops we produce in this country is the humble blackberry, not only found in the countryside, blackberry bushes grow wild and in abundance in all corners of the British isles. This sweet berry has outstanding flavour, and so much opportunity for both sweet and savoury dishes. And it's free.

The only limit to how many blackberries you can pick is your own endurance and if you're anything like me, you won't leave the house without a bag, bucket or bowl during blackberry season.

Jamming is an integral kitchen skill that will help any avid forager deal with gluts, and there is none more plentiful and gluttonous than the humble blackberry. By turning this common hedgerow weed into jam you are able to capture the essence of late summer strolls, for the rest of the year, helping you to fill your larder with the finest British seasonal produce, that can be eaten in good conscience all year long. As we farmers say, make hay while the sun shines...



  • To sterilise the jars

    The jars will need to be sterilised before filling. To do this, place a large pan of cold water on the hob and bring to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully drop the jars into the boiled water. You can leave the jars in the water until you are ready to fill them.

  • To make the jam

    The first stage of any jam making process is to check over the fruit. In the case of blackberries, you need to pull out any stray stalks, leaves, or damaged fruit these are best suited for the compost bin rather than your jam.

    In a large preserving pan (a deep, sturdy, metal pan) add the blackberries, chopped apples and lemon juice, pour in the water and place the pan over a low heat. Gently bring the pan to a simmer, hold the pan at a simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the fruit has softened. Take a masher and carefully bash the fruit.

    Place a muslin over a pan and carefully pour the jammy mixture through capturing the pith and pimps, squeezing out all the liquid into the pan below. Measure out the silky, fruity liquid and add 750g of sugar for every 1 litre of juice. 

    Place the pan over a low heat and gently stir to ensure the sugar has completely dissolved. As soon as the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up and take the pan to a full rolling boil. Boil the fruit for around 6 - 10 minutes (or until you reach a setting point of 112C), then remove it from the heat and carefully stir to allow the fruit to cool. At this point you can check if your jam is set.

    Let the jam cool a little then pour into warm sterilised jars.

    The jars can be kept for at least a year in a cool, dry cupboard.

  • To make the porridge

    In a medium saucepan, pour in the milk and the oats and bring to a gentle simmer.

    Cook gently, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes until the oats have plumped up and softened completely. Add a dash more milk for your desired consistency.

    Add a pinch of salt and stir through throughly. Spoon the honey into the saucepan and swirl through the porridge.

    Pour the porridge into a bowl, add a dollop of excellent quality yoghurt, on top of this, spoon over the bramble jelly.

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