Monday, 31 July 2017

Blackberry Jam with Lemon and Nutmeg

Making home made jam fills your kitchen with intoxicating smells and give you a sense of achievement.  We have an allotment where we spend loads of our free time and grow lots of our vegetables during the summer and fall growing seasons.

Something that does it's own this however is the rampant blackberry bushes.  These are wild but we do a bit of pruning and management resulting in a lush and fine crop each year. Some years are better than others and this year is looking like it will be epic with the branches laden with beautiful, ripe and lush purple jewels hanging down.

There are so many things you can do with blackberries (very high in Vitamin C) like crumbles, smoothies but of course the classic is a simple blackberry jam.  My first picking this season I picked around 2 kilos deciding to use 1 kilo to make some jam.
I like to get all my equipment ready before I start the jam making. It's best to be prepared rather than scramble looking for something such as having the jars ready etc.
Pectin is a chemical in all fruit however it is in higher concentrations in some fruits than others.  It is the main thing that makes jam set so if the fruit you are using is low in pectin you have to add some.  You can get liquid pectin or sugars with pectin however another way is to add a fruit that is high in pectin.  Apples are high in pectin which is why people very often make blackberry and apple jam.  Lemons also have a substantial amount of pectin and give a lovely flavour which complements the blackberries.  I use the grated zest and juice of 1 lemon per 500gm of fruit.
The fruit and sugar mixture need to boil rapidly for about ten minutes
If you use a jam making thermometer if the temperature reaches 104oC the jam will set.  If you don't have one you can drop small amounts on a cold plate, give it a minute to cool slightly then run your finger through the jam.  If it wrinkles it will set.
When you pour the hot jam into the sterilised jars, put the clear cellophane covers on and let it cool it will set.

For this batch of jam I used the rind and juice of 2 lemons and about a teaspoon of freshly grated Grenada nutmeg.  The result - a lovely fragrant blackberry jam with a subtle hint of the nutmeg and a pinch of sunshine from the lemons.
Blackberry, lemon and nutmeg jam:-

1 kilo freshly picked blackberries
75 - 100 ml water depending if the berries are picked shortly after the rain and full of water
1.2 kilo granulated sugar
2 lemons (grated rind and juice)
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1. Prepare all your equipment, wash the jars and pop them in a hot oven for 10 minutes to sterilise.  

2. Put the blackberries in the preserving pan with the water and gently bring to the boil.

3. Boil until the berries start to fall apart and add the sugar, lemon rind and juice and stir until the sugar has disolved.

4. Boil rapidly for about 10 minutes stirring from time to time to prevent it sticking on the bottom of the pan.  If using a thermometer boil until the temperature reaches 104oC or do the setting test on a cold plate.

5. If set turn off the heat and cool slightly before putting into the jars, if not set continue boiling for another 3-4 minutes.

6. I use jam pot covers to create an airtight seal to prevent the jam going off.  You can buy these in loads of places and follow the directions on the pack.  I know that in the US they pour a little layer of melted wax to create the seal.

7. The jam will set as it cools. Keep in a cupboard until opened then refrigerate until the jar is empty.  Taste the sunshine in each jar!

What is your favourite jam? Have you ever made you own jam. Please leave a comment below - I love hearing from you.

I was not required by anyone to write a positive post.  All opinions, photographs and recipe are my own and may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission.


  1. you are right, making your own jam gives you that satisfaction which you can't describe in words! Wish I had my own allotment too:)

    1. We are certainly very lucky to have such a supply of fruit and vegetables!

  2. How lovely to make your own jam at home. How long can we preserve this one.

    1. If you get an air tight seal the jam lasts for ages in a cupboard.

  3. Balckberry jam with lemon sounds so yum. I love making jams at home and sometimes have to make it without pectin as its not readily available in Mombasa. Like your suggestion on adding apple.

    1. Apple or lemon are high in pectin so can easily be added for a good set.

  4. I love the sound of nutmeg in the jam. I bet it makes a delicious addition. Elinor

    1. It wasn't overpowering either - just a subtle background flavour.

  5. Wow look how many blackberries you picked! This jam sounds great. I'll give it a whirl as I've been meaning to make some!

    1. It's an epic blackberry year so I will be freezing loads for the winter too.