Or how to get blackberry jelly to set... I posted a smug tweet last week about how I had made 10 jars of blackberry jelly before 10 on a Monday morning. Well, it came back to bite me in the bottom, as that jelly failed to set, and I ended up hunting around for hints and tips on how to fix it. I had some great suggestions from friends on Twitter, and it was reassuring to know that many people struggle with blackberries!
I eventually found a great article from PickYourOwn.org explaining how to fix jams and jellies that don't set. So off I trotted to buy a bottle of pectin, some lemons and more sugar; and having boiled it up again according to the instructions in that article, I now have set blackberry jelly! Whoop, whoop! And it's completely delicious.
However, I still had a dozen empty jars and half a bottle of pectin, so last Saturday I decided that I would see whether I could buy some fruit at the market to complete this year's jam collection. Boy, did I hit the jackpot! A 5kg tray of damsons for £2.00!! They were starting to go over, so we spent a fun 20 minutes picking through them and chucking the ones that were too mushy or already a bit mouldy, and still ended up with nearly 3kg of damsons.
And this is the result of our efforts - a shelf packed with home made jam, and an aspiration that it should last through until next year's harvest. This year we ran out of home made jam in February, so fingers crossed next year we won't need to call on the talents of the Bonne Maman at all.