Archive for the 'Preserves and condiments' Category

Wild Bramble Jam, just like Grandma Lindsay used to make.

January 11, 2011

There are bramble bushes everywhere in Scotland. This can be a good thing and a bad thing as they have pretty sharp thorns. Thorns aside and I was very excited to see an abundant crop of juicy berries up by the farm. When I was a little kid my sister and I went to an old railway station with our gran to pick brambles. We must have been there for hours as we picked bucket loads. The spoils were turned into jams, jellies and crumbles. Yum! With this in mind, and the success of my homemade raspberry jam giving me confidence, I decided to “go wild” and make my own bramble jam. Well I must confess this was made quite some time ago , I have been off the air for a while and am catching up (sorry). I do still have some jam left, certainly a good reason to make some fresh scones tomorrow me thinks. It’s supposed to snow again – yep definitely a scone day! Anyway back to the jam – it really is very easy – honestly. If you get a hold of some berries give it a go. Homemade jams are sooooo much better than shop bought ones and you can put almost anything you want in them.


1 kg brambles (blackberries for the non Scots)
1 kg white sugar
1 lemon

Layer the brambles and sugar in a large bowl and add the juice of a lemon. Stir, cover with cling film and put in the fridge over night.

The next day tip into a non reactive pan (I used my Le Creuset). Bring to a simmer, skimming any scum that comes to the surface. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Make sure you stir it relatively often to ensure that it does not stick.

From about 20 mins on you can check to see if the jam has reached setting point. You do this by putting a teaspoon of the jam mixture onto a cold side plate. Pop it in the fridge for a minute then run your finger through the middle of the dollop. The line where you run your finger through should stay and the edges of the jam should wrinkle. If this does not happen keep simmering the jam and check again in another few mins. Keep doing this until setting point is reached.

You can now jar up the jam, ensure that you sterilise the jars and lids before you fill them. Also make sure you fill them when the jam is still hot.

This is all documented in my Raspberry Jam recipe please click on link for info:

Wild raspberry jam

July 26, 2010

It is so exciting there are tons and tons of wild raspberries everywhere! I had been looking forward to making jam during bramble season (blackberries) and had completely forgotten about raspberries. I actually don’t remember ever seeing wild raspberries before but they are here and there are tons of them. It would be a crime not to pick them and make jam.

Ingredients (makes about 3 – 4 jars)

1 kg raspberries (you could use frozen)
1 kg sugar (I used raw caster sugar)
Juice of 1 lemon

Raspberry jam

Place the raspberries in a large non reactive bowl and layer with the sugar.

Cover with plastic wrap and leave in fridge over night.

Next morning add the lemon juice and place in a large pan (ideally enamel). Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes or until jam reaches setting point.

Tip: To check to see if the jam is at setting point put a spoonful of jam onto a cold plate and leave for 20 seconds. Then run your finger through the middle. If the line stays and the jam doesn’t run back, the edges of the jam wrinkle a little the jam is set. If not keep simmering until it does reach setting point.

Raspberry jam

Skim the top then fill sterilised jam jars.

Tip: To sterilise jars wash lids and jars then boil in water for 10 – 15 mins.

Sterilising jars

Sterilised jars drying

Note: If I do this again I would probably pass half of the raspberries through a sieve so that you do not end up with too many seeds.

I recommend you eat the jam with homemade scones (see recipe). Yummy!!