Bessingby Park Blackberry Jam

It’s blackberry season. My mother never went anywhere without a carrier bag in her coat pocket and at this time of year and car journeys were made super exciting by the thought that at any moment she would spot some berries and we would come to screeching halt by the side of the road whereupon she would leap from the drivers seat and disappear off into the hedgerow to pick some fruit.


Now we like to call this ‘foraging’ and my own experience of  is somewhat more sedate and a little less organised.  I’d gone to Bessingby Park this morning because Bob had told me that  I’d find a beautiful walnut tree, of course it’s far too early for walnuts but I was keen to locate it in the hope of hope of beating the birds and the children to them in a few weeks time.

Blackberry Jam

While wandering around enjoying the early sun, I realised that behind the trees there’s a whole stretch of blackberry bushes running along one of the boundaries.  I had to improvise for a carrier and make do with a small paper bag that contained the loom bands I’m supposed to be sending to our grandson Archie, I have very scratched arms and legs because shorts and bare arms are completely impractical for grubbing around in thorny undergrowth but  all worth it because three hours later, I have two big jars of  juicy, jewel coloured blackberry jam.


I’m also linking this post to Simple and In Season hosted by Elizabeth and Ren.


Bessingby Park Blackberry Jam

Yield: 2 350ml jars

Total Time: 1 hour


600 grams blackberries

400 grams preserving sugar - sugar with added pectin

200 grams jam sugar

juice of one lemon



Rinse the blackberries and place in a preserving pan or deep sided, large saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice.

Heat very slowly, stirring gently all the time until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil.

The jam should reach the setting point between at between five and ten minutes.

Take off the heat and leave to stand for five minutes.

Pour into hot sterilised jars, the jars should be full to the top and seal straight away.

Store in a cool dark cupboard and refrigerate once opened.  It will keep for a year.

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9 Responses to “Bessingby Park Blackberry Jam”

  1. annjenny August 7, 2014 @ 11:37 am (#)

    Lovely looking jam – yum!

    • Victoria Wildman replied: — August 9th, 2014 @ 4:20 pm

      Thank you Ann.  I think I prefer it to the strawberry, it has a real berry taste and not so sweet.

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  3. Agents of Field August 8, 2014 @ 9:53 am (#)

    Lovely post, and a lovely recipe. I go blackberry-picking in the same fields near our home every autumn – usually around late September. But my goodness, the blackberries seem so early this year! My neighbour gave me some blackberries a couple of weeks ago (in July!) which I did try to turn into jam. It doesn’t seem to have set properly though (I didn’t have jam sugar but hoped the pectin in the lemon juice would suffice – clearly not!) So I now have a couple of jars of blackberry compote instead! Sophie

    • Victoria Wildman replied: — August 9th, 2014 @ 4:18 pm

      interesting about the lemon juice because on of the recipes I looked at was a mixed berry jam that did just that and also Bob said he thought they shouldn’t need pectin.  I had the pectin sugar so I thought i’d use it and the jam set after about five minutes and I do also wonder if the fruit tastes better for less boiling.  I’m going make some more next week if you’d like a jar. Anyway your ‘compote’ will be delicious I’m sure.

  4. Agents of Field August 10, 2014 @ 9:24 pm (#)

    Ah, that’s so kind Victoria, thank you! I think we’ll be okay for jam though. A couple of days before the blackberry jam disaster, I made a mixed berry jam from the fruit in our garden (mostly blueberries with the odd gooseberry, strawberry and raspberry thrown in as well) and that one set like a dream (more natural pectin in blueberries).

    Anyway, we’re still early in the blackberry season – I’m going to pick another batch and give it another go!

  5. Elizabeth August 29, 2014 @ 11:05 am (#)

    Nothing beats home made jam. I grew up on the stuff – we spent out summers foraging for fruit where I grew up in rural Canada. The blackberries were the trickiest to get because the juiciest ones the birds couldn’t get to were in the centre of the bramble patch – and so were the wasps! OOhh many summers of calamine lotion… 🙂 Thanks for linking up with Simple and in Season 🙂

    • Victoria Wildman replied: — August 29th, 2014 @ 1:17 pm

      None of those problems thankfully, though thinking about it there doesn’t seem to have been many wasps around this summer.

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