“You ate the first one and it’s flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue
And a lust for picking…”
–from “Blackberry-Picking” by Seamus Heaney
Blackberry Time Again!
500g large cooking Apples
2 whole cloves
Juice & zest of 1 Lemon
1.5 kg granulated sugar
1. Peel, core and roughly chop the apples. Pull the stalks out of the blackberries.
2. Put the apple, blackberries, lemon juice, cloves & water into a large heavy-based pot and bring to the boil.
3. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring ocassionally with a wooden spoon. The fruit should be smooth and soft.
4. Pour the cooked fruit into a sieve and rub it through with the back of the spoon into a clean pot. Discard the seeds & cloves.
5. Add the sugar, stir it in well and simmer the jam for another 20 minutes.
6. To test the setting properties of the jam put 1/2 teaspoon of it on a cold saucer and push the end of the spoon through it. If it sets and leaves a gap then it is now ready. If it falls back on itself, give it another 5 minutes cooking and test it again.
7. Pour your hot jam into the warm sterilised jars. (I put the glass jars in the microwave for 3 minutes to sterilise them.) Cover with a greaseproof paper disk and close the lid tight while it is still hot. Turn the jars upside-down once and then upright again – this helps in the sterilisation of the lid and also helps create the vacuum that will make the jam keep longer.
Leave the jams in a cool place until cold.
And here is Irish poet Seamus Heaney reading his poem “Blackberry Picking”
Delicious with homemade soda bread and My soda bread recipe is here.
This September I went picking Blackberries with my daughter and found millions of them (well, nearly) That post is here: Picking Blackberries & my Blackberry Madeira Pie Recipe