Blackberry, Elderberry and Vanilla Jam
There’s still time to forage some blackberries and elderberries from the hedgerows. This year, we have plenty in the hedgerows as well as loads of super-sweet blackberries from our cultivated bushes.
This recipe has made lots of jam for our Bed and Breakfast, it’s going down really well: time to make a second batch!
Wash the berries and put into a large pan, cooking them over a low heat until they turn to a soft pulp. Pressing the berries helps to release all the juice.
When everything is hot and soft and a luscious purple colour, transfer to a fine sieve. With the rounded back of a ladle, rub the flesh of the fruit through the sieve to extract all the pulp and juice, leaving behind the seeds.
Using a Pyrex measuring jug, measure the resulting juice. For every 600ml of juice, add 450g of jam sugar (which has added pectin), and a tablespoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice.
Reheat the juice gently until the sugar has dissolved, then raise the temperature until the jam is boiling rapidly. Use a thermometer to confirm that the mixture has reached the magic temperature of 104 degrees Celsius. Boil for several minutes then remove a small blob and drop onto a chilled plate – once the jam has cooled it should wrinkle when you push at it with a spoon. Stir in a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.
Once it’s ready, pour the jam into hot sterilised jars, seal and allow to cool.