Autumn Colours

I know it is technically still summer, we’ve even had a few warm sunny days in the last week but in my kitchen it is definitely autumn.  Not for me the yellows, oranges and browns often associated with autumn but instead the rich rubies and scarlets, dusty blues and deep deep purples of the autumnal jam pan. Yes, it’s that happy time of year again when our morning walks include a stop at the bramble bushes to forage for brambles, the blueberry bush in the garden has been stripped of its crop and I’m keeping my eyes open for bargain buys at the greengrocers. This afternoon I stripped the blueberry bush (and slightly sadly bought a small punnet of blueberries to supplement the home grown supply) and then spent an enjoyable time making my first pots of homemade (and almost home grown) blueberry jam. The smell was delicious, the dogs came and lay at my feet sniffing the air as the berries burst and released their blue/purple juices. A couple of wasps flew in to the kitchen and were hurriedly encouraged to look elsewhere for sweet treats.

The recipe I used is as follows:

500g blueberries

500g caster sugar

the juice of a lemon

Wash and dry the blueberries and remove any stems and leaves, put the blueberries, sugar and the juice of the lemon into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer until the sugar melts. Increase the heat to a steady boil for about 20 minutes, test for a set then remove from the heat and pour into sterilised jars. Cover and cool before labelling. Don’t forget to retain a spoonful in the pan for a celebratory slice of bread and jam!

Once the blueberry jam was made and poured into jars I began the bramble jelly preparations, rinsing the fruit and simmering it gently to release as much juice as possible before pouring the deep red mixture into the jelly bag to strain. tomorrow I’ll cook the juice with sugar and a little lemon juice until it reaches setting point.

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