Autumn is officially here! And in all honesty I welcome it with open arms. Leaves changing to oranges, reds and gold, the sound of crisp grass underfoot jacketed with frost, and a nip in the air that’s so cold you can see your breath. Even better, it’s the season to forage for wild berries and fat juicy apples! but what do you do with all the fruit that slowly gather’s in your freezer? My dad’s favourite: Man Jam!
This is a quick and delicious recipe that will make good use of local, wild fruits, and lasts a long time in your cupboard.
- 4 pounds of blackberries and roughly chopped eating apples (roughly 70% blackberries to 30% apples)
- 4 pounds of sugar
- Large pan and wooden spoon
- A small plate placed in the fridge (you’ll find out why later)
- Several glass Kilner jars that have a rubber seal in the lid. Prepare these by washing thoroughly and placing in the oven at 150 for 20 minutes to sterilise.
- Place all of the fruit into a large pan and warm the fruit (if yours isn’t frozen you won’t need to do this for too long).
- Once warm (defrosted) add the sugar bit by bit, let it melt and bring to the boil.
- Stir constantly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, and keep removing the scum that gathers on the top.
- After 20 minutes or so, conduct the cold plate test! Remove your chilled plate from the fridge and spread a small amount of the hot jam with a teaspoon on to the plate. Leave for a minute, and if a thin skin forms on the jam, it’s cooked!
- Once cooked, distribute the jam into the jars and seal (can do when still hot).
- One the jam has cooled, spread by the heaped spoonful on hot buttered toast, freshly warmed croissants, or like my dad, add to your morning porridge!
Why man jam you may ask? Because it’s jam, made by a man who loves his jam. Simple!