Thursday, 21 August 2014

Blackberry and Strawberry Jam

I've not made jam for years. The first time was DECADES ago now in Domestic Science at school and then when my children were little and we did fun stuff like blackberrying. My one vivid memory is the time I picked an old walls ice cream 4litre tub full of blackberries. Rinsed them.  Froze them. Months later I defrosted then to make some lovely blackberry goodies, only to find them writhing ( great word ) with teeny little white wormy maggots! I'm going to google image this now to see if you too can relive my utmost horror! Hang on a minute.....  Ugh no I can't do that to you. I'm super grossed out now - again- on your behalf!

Fear not this time, the blackberries came all the way from the Supermarket. Whoopsed ones of course. The same can be said of the strawberries.
Thankfully maggot free jewels! 

The HG spoilt me again and presented me with a lovely new jam funnel and pan. My oven has an induction hob so needs pans than can make a magnetic connection. 

I had 1.5kg of fruit so used the same  weight of sugar  ( a kilo of which was jam sugar ) - as it was the first time I'd made jam for a long time I wasn't going to meddle with the recipe. Next time I'd use less sugar. I used the juice of one and a half lemons and I popped in half an apple. Stirred until all the sugar had dissolved
then set it boiling merrily away! 
I tested it several times for setting point, the old wrinkle test on a cold plate. I think it was ready, but decided to give it three minutes longer. Some of the fruit caught on the bottom and my kitchen smelt like a candy floss shop! The scum was removed and my sterilised jars filled to the brim with delicious jam! I made three for storage, one for my neighbour and one to eat now! 

The cardigan is almost finished, just one front band and the neck band to go.
Oh well, I suppose I should  go do some packing for our jollies. Catch you laters potaters!! 

Love from
Rachel "Maggot free jam" Radiostar xxx 


  1. Yuk I remember maggoty blackberries. Mum used to soak them before using them. Last year I braved it and picked a bucket full of blackberries to make into jam and soaked them first - no maggots and same again this year.
    The cardy is looking lovey

  2. Sorry I've been out of contact for so long. A spell of depression always makes me shut myself off, but feeling a bit better now. Your jam looks yummy and that cardigan is so pretty. I don't do lacy knitting nowadays as my concentration is so bad I lose my place in the pattern too easily, so I really admire those who do. About the blackberries...I haven't picked many this year but last year foraged over 10 lbs just around here. I have managed to pick a couple of lbs this year. The way I deal with the maggots is to soak the fruit for about an hour in cold water and simply drown the little buggers. They mostly float to the top then, and unfortunately you do have to pick them out, but that gets the majority of them. I then drain them, looking them over as I do so for any maggots I've missed. It isn't that fiddly and doesn't take as long as you might think. I then leave them in a colander to dry as much as possible before spreading them out on lined baking trays in the freezer. Once frozen I bag them up. I find that spreading them out like that on baking trays means they stay fairly seperate and don't freeze in a massive lump. 150g of blackberries is at a special offer price of £1.15 in Aldi (the cheapest I've seen). I picked 900 gm in under 30 mins the other day so saved around £6 (not that I would have bought them at that price anyway). Hope you are keeping well, Rachel. Love, Helen x

  3. Is that an induction Maslin pan then? we have a single induction hob and solar panels so when the sun shines the leccy's free! That makes me want to dance in the rain naked!!

  4. I don't know if my message sent lol x


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