We had one of those perfect late summer outings earlier this week when everything just falls into place. We set off for a walk with friends.

Nobody moaned, complained or argued. I strolled along with my lovely friend and Bonus Boy galloped about with his, while Darling Girl caught up with one of hers and made a new friend.

There was a smell of autumn in the air;  of a harvest about to happen.


LOTS of blackberries!

I began to twitch. I was caught unawares. I hadn’t got a bag with me! Luckily, I was with Super Sue.  She rummaged in her rucksack before producing, with a flourish, a medium-sized sandwich bag. It wouldn’t hold much but it would have to do. I stuffed it to bursting point and when I got it home I was pleasantly surprised to find it held one and a half pounds of plump and juicy fruit.

It was time for some jamming. I popped Bob Marley into the CD player my beautiful girl popped on her hat and the jamming commenced.

We boiled the fruit.

We pushed it through a sieve to remove the pips.

I changed my mind. Decided I couldn’t waste all that lovely pulp and poured it all back into the pan. We added a Bramley apple and a lot of sugar and bubbled it until setting point was reached. We potted it yesterday and opened it at breakfast this morning and we tasted summer sunshine.

Here is the recipe we used. It comes from the indispensable The Right Way to Make Jams by Cyril Grange It is a tiny book with no photographs but it is the only book you need to make jam.

Apple and Blackberry Jam

3lb blackberries

1lb green cooking apples

4lb sugar

1/2 pint water

Cook blackberries and apples slowly until soft. Add the sugar, boil to setting.

To produce seedless jam cook the blackberries separately in 1/4 pint of water until the berries are soft. Then pass them through a coarse sieve to remove the pips. Cook the apples in the remaining 1/4 pint water and mix the apples and berries together. With this method only 3lbs sugar is needed.

I leave you with the theme tune to this season of plenty! We will be back amongst the blackberry bushes this weekend! (With a bigger bag!)

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