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This time of the year the hedges and pathways in Ireland are literally brimming with the abundance of wild blackberries. It’s the one time during the year when those pesky brambles feel like they are of some good use. And these plump juicy fruits are just perfect for jam making. We usually set out for picking wild blackberries on lazy Sunday afternoons. And all it takes is a short walk in a quiet country boreen, park or walkway next to some hedges, a few helping hands and a basket. It’s always surprising when these picking quests add up to any leftover berries finding their way into the basket. As a vast majority of them find their way straight into bellies instead. It’s one of those lovely jobs with immediate gratifying perks. But somehow and always surprisingly, we do end up walking home with enough loot. Nature is made generous that way. There’s plenty of wild blackberries for everyone. Ingredients:

  • 1 kg Blackberries

  • 1 kg Castor Sugar

  • Juice of 1 lemon

You also need:

  • A large stock pot

  • Sterilized jam jars with lids

  • Ladle

  • Small plate placed in freezer - a handy tip

What you do: Wash berries off under running water and get as much of the water off them as possible. You could leave them in the colander to dry off for a little while to make sure they are dry. Place berries and sugar in the large stock pot and bring to the boil. Stir continuously until all the sugar has melt.

Lower the heat to a rolling boil. Meaning your berries and sugar will be a more liquid form bubbling away happily. Set your timer for 10 minutes and remember to stir every few minutes.

After 10 minutes take your plate out of the freezer and pour a tiny amount of the berry jam onto it.

Wait for a few seconds and then push your finger through it. If it forms wrinkles you know your jam is ready and you can remove it off the heat and pour it in your jars. If no wrinkles are forming yet, return the plate to the freezer and set your timer for another 10 minutes. Once your Blackberry Jam jars are filled you can store them in the fridge. If you want to keep them on your pantry shelves for longer, you need to do a Warm Water Bath. (Check Lightly Spiced Pears for instructions on how to do this)

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