So I made bramble jelly from the brambles I collected whilst foraging and, as promised, here is how I went about it. It’s really really easy and if I can make jelly anyone can ( my marmalade needs work but that’s a story for another day).
To start, give the brambles a wash and place them in a jam pan along with some water and the juice of a couple of lemons. I had 5lb’s of brambles so used the juice from 2 1/2 lemons and about 3/4 pint of water. I simmered on a low heat until some of the brambles had started to become mush.
Whilst the brambles are simmering you should be setting up your strainer contraption. First time I used this my hubby thought I was using a pair of tights! You can probably see why he thought that!
Pour the bramble mix into the strainer and leave. I tend to leave this overnight surrounded by towels as it can splatter everywhere and make your kitchen look like a crime scene.
Once all the juice has been strained place the juice in a jam pan along with sugar. I use about 1lb of sugar for every pint of juice. Brambles are low in pectin so I used jam sugar instead of just normal sugar to ensure that it set. Yup, I cheated but hey it sets every time and takes the stress out of jam making.
I simmered the brambles and sugar, stirring until the sugar had completely dissolved and I then left to simmer until it has reached setting point. I test the setting point by dropping some of the mix onto a frozen plate ( remember to place a plate in the freezer before starting to make your jam) and pressing with my finger, if it wrinkles its ready. If it runs all over the place, it’s not. You can also use a thermometer and setting point is about 105C however when I use my thermometer it never ever ever reaches 105C, so I stopped using it and use the frozen plate method… sometimes the old tips are the best! But I suppose I really should just buy a new thermometer and get rid of the old one.
Once the mix has set place into sterilised jars. I got 4 jars from 5lbs of Brambles, which is an increase on last year, so I’m pretty happy.
I would love to know if anyone else has been foraging lately, what you’ve found and what you’ve made.