I just love blackberries (or brambles as I’ve always called them). This is the best blackberry jam with bay and vanilla that I’ve ever made.
The best blackberry jam with bay and vanilla
Blackberries, it’s call of autumn isn’t it. The ending of summer and entering of the colder months ahead. cozying up for winter. You need jam for that. Good rich, flavourful blackberry jam to spread on hot buttered toast to eat by the fire.
Ingredients for blackberry jam
pinch of salt
Secret ingredient – My blackberry and apple gin!
How to make blackberry jam
Place the blackberries and apple in a preserving pan along with the lemon juice, bay leaf and water.
Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes for all the fruit to soften.
Mash the fruit with a potato masher. Disscard the bay leaf. Add vanilla extract and pinch of salt.
Add sugar and let that dissolve then bring to the boil and bubble like mad till it reaches the magical setting point at 105C.
Carefully ladle into sterilised jars.
Stir in a teaspoon of blackberry and apple gin to each jar
When I make this yummy blackberry preserve I like to scoop up half of the jam in the pan just after I’ve used the potato masher. This scooped up jam then gets pressed through a sieve back into the pan.
Why do I do this? Well it makes half of the jam really smooth and I like the contrast with the rest of the jam. Want a completely smooth blackberry jam? Then simply press all of it through a sieve.
Blackberries are low in pectin
The setting ingredient in all jams and jellies is pectin. Some fruits and berries are high in pectin which means they set well without assistance. While other fruits and berries contain very little pectin and need a wee bit of help to set.
Blackberries fall into the low pectin category. We need to add something to help them set up nicely as jam (or jelly). Apples and lemon juice are the way to go here.
By adding these ingredients you will get your blackberry jam to set nicely and have that perfect jammy consistancy.
Jam making help
Are you new to jam making? Then panic not, I’ve got you covered. Just check out these quick articles and you’ll soon go from zero to hero in the jam making stakes!
How to serve blackberry jam
I love using this blackberry jam on my toast or croissant in the morning. It has that nice sweet/sour kick that wakes you up far better than a sweeter jam like strawberry.
Spread this blackberry jam inside a victoria sponge.
Stir the jam into your morning porridge for the perfect forrager’s breakfast!
Add to your morning yogurt or spooon on top of ice-cream for a super easy dessert.
Here i’ve used my jam on my favourite treacle scones. Any scone will do of course, but the sharpness goes particularly well with treacle scones I find.
Use the blackberry jam as a glaze for duck or venison.
It’s strength of flavour means you can stir this blackberry jam into rich beef or game casseroles for added depth of flavour.
How long will this jam keep?
This blackberry jam will keep just fine for up to a year in a cool place. Once opened store it in the fridge and use it up within about a month.
How much jam does this recipe make?
I got 2 x 200ml jars from the amount of blackberries I used which was just 300g of berries. Want to make more jam? Then just double up the recipe.
Looking for more blackberry recipes to use this gorgeous fruit? Then check out these recipes before you go;
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The best blackberry jam with bay and vanilla
- 300 g blackberries
- 100 g cooking apple peeled and diced small
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 300 g sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 tsp blackberry and apple gin or normal gin (optional)
- Simmer the blackberries, lemon juice, apple and bay leaf in a pan with 50ml of water till all the fruit is tender
- Mash fruit with a potato masher (you can press half of it, all of it or none of it through a sieve for smooth texture)
- add the vanilla extract and salt and the sugar and allow sugar to dissolve completely then bring to boil for about 5 minutes till it reaches 105C which is the setting point
- carefully ladle into sterilised jars
- stir in 1 tsp of gin in each jar