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Easy Bramble Jam
The pleasure of this recipe is that it can be made from whatever quantity of brambles you manage to pick on an Autumn walk. Just make sure that you always have a small plastic bag in your coat pocket at this time of year.
Ingredients:Equal quantities of brambles and preserving sugar (with added pectin if possible).
Thoroughly wash some glass jars (roughly a jar for every 250g of fruit) and put in a warm oven to dry out and sterilise.
Pick over the brambles to remove any debris and stalks, wash and weigh. Put in a heavy saucepan or preserving pan with an equal amount of sugar. Bring to the boil slowly, stirring gently to ensure that the sugar is dissolved. When the mixture comes to the boil, turn up the heat and boil fast for three minutes. Transfer to the warmed jars and seal.
adapted from a recipe in Sue Lawrence's Scots Cooking
This recipe can also be adjusted according to the amount of fruit you manage to collect. The proportions of Gin (or Vodka works equally well) are approximately 400g of Sloes and 300g of Sugar to a standard (700ml) Bottle of Spirits.
Pick over the sloes discarding any damaged ones and any stalks. Wash and dry thoroughly.
Sloes are a very dense fruit, and the alcohol needs to seep into them. There are two ways this can be done. Either use a needle to prick over each fruit. Or put the fruit in the freezer in a sealed bag; and when frozen bash the fruit in the bag to break them up.
Thoroughly wash a large Kilner type glass jar and put in a warm oven to dry out and sterilise.
Pack the fruit into the jar, layering the sugar as you go. Cover with the gin and seal. Store for about three months in a dark cupboard, but remember to gently shake every few days or so, so that the sugar gradually dissolves.
When ready, strain into sterilised bottles. Lakeland have ideal small stoppered ones, that when filled and decorated with a ribbon, make ideal Christmas gifts.