We have had fantastic weather this summer in Yorkshire. Best summer in the last six years. I know this not because I have lived here long, but because British people love to talk about the weather (in queue at the grocery store, getting your eyebrows waxed, when people at the pub notice your American accent, etc.) There have been very few days of all-day rain and even a ‘heat wave’ in July (heatwave defined in British terms of consecutive days in the mid to upper 80 degrees with little rain). I had been excited to pick some local produce in this gorgeous weather; however, the warm days shortened the growing season at the local pick your own. Fortunately, I checked the website just in time to learn the news, and this past weekend my friend and I took her daughters out for some berry picking.
Once we were directed to the ‘proper’ patch for raspberry picking, by a man I assume was the farmer (though dressed in a starched button down shirt – his wife must enjoy laundry to let him farm in that). We pretty much had our ‘pick’ (pun intended!) of the field. The girls were the perfect height to get the ripe berries at the bottom of the bushes that were over looked by adults not in the mood to stoop so low, while I worked the far ends of the aisles, since most people don’t walk all the way down. We ended up with quite a haul, that I was worried I’d have too many.
Our Blackberry picking was not as successful. Not that there weren’t any to be had. But those bushes were very overgrown and the thorns on them much sharper than on the raspberries. After about 10 minutes my hands were starting to look like Lady MacBeth’s.
Well jam making quickly solves that problem. My first batch was Raspberry Jalapeno Jam that I got off this website. This is a very straight forward, yet not boring recipe to try if you are new to jam making. It is also a fairly small batch compared to other jam recipes, and therefore not as much of a time commitment. Since I didn’t modify the recipe at all, I’m not going to publish the exact same steps here.
Mixed Berry Jam
The next day I was looking to make a jam that utilized both types of berries, but as I had severely depleted by supply of raspberries I was worried that the Blackberries would over power the flavor. So I went out and picked up some strawberries to balance the flavors. The recipe that follows was adapted from the following website based on the amounts of berries that I had left over. This recipe filled three half pint jars with nothing to spare; though, depending of the amount of water contained in the fruit that can vary.
Wash & halve the strawberries and place them in a large sauce pan to release their juices (the fruit is added in stages for this recipe because the berries take cook down at different rates and I wanted to preserve chucks of each of the types of berries in the jam):
Place a small plate in the freezer and begin sterilizing your jars. You can learn more about this here.
Once the berries have released their juices set the burner to medium high and bring to a simmer.
Add the blackberries, lemon juice, and lemon zest and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the raspberries and simmer for 15 minutes.
Take a plate out of the freezer to test the jam to see if it has set.
When set, ladle into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
- 2.5 cups of strawberries
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1.5 cups of blackberries
- .5 cup of raspberries
- 1 cup of sugar
- juice of one lemon
- 2 tsp of lemon zest
- Wash and halve the strawberries. Put them in a large sauce pan that you will use to make your jam with one cup of the sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes to release their juices.
- Place a small plate in freezer
- Start sterilizing your canning supplies.
- Wash the rest of the berries; keep them separated.
- Turn the burner to medium high and bring the strawberries to a simmer.
- Add the blackberries, lemon juice, and zest. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the raspberries and simmer for 15 minutes
- Take the plate out of the freezer and spoon on some of the jam to see if it has set. If not continue to simmer until is has set.
- Ladle into sterilized jars and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.