Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blackberry Season

In just another week or two and until the end of January, blackberry season will be in full swing. It is a common misconception however that blackberries are actually berries. They are, in fact, an aggregate fruit - a bunch of tiny fruits fused together at the base, unlike real berries including surprisingly, citrus, cucumber and papaya. Well, that's about as far as my knowledge spans on blackberries unfortunately. After washing they deteriorate rather quickly so it is preferable to give them a rinse just before you use them. Fresh berries will last about 2-3 days in the refrigerator but can be frozen for a good period of time for later use in baked goods, creams and preserves. Using frozen blackberries instead of fresh in baked goods will prevent much streaking and result in a lighter, fresher flavour. Yesterday morning I thawed out some blackberries and made an apple & blackberry jam which will be my contribution to this months 'Eating with the Seasons' and a homemade Christmas gift to a lucky someone later on. I like to use hermetic jars.

Apple & Blackberry Jam
220 g Granny Smith apple (approx. 2)
200 g water
185 g blackberries
320 g castor sugar
8 g lemon juice
4 whole cloves
Peel, core and chop apples, discarding peel only.
Combine apples, blackberries and lemon juice.
Chop up the cores and in a small saucepan, boil with water and cloves for 20 minutes.
Strain out the cores and add liquid to apples.
Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Wizz in a blender until smooth then return to heat with sugar, scraping the bottom with a spatula.
Continue cooking until it reaches 105ÂșC.

1 comment:

  1. very informative and well written! thanks for another fantastic contribution to eating with the seasons!

    happy christmas!


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