Making homemade wild fruit jam is a delightful way to enjoy the bountiful hedgerow harvest. And this season they are groaning with goodies.
Wild fruit jam making is the only thing to think about on your weekend walks at this time of year. The hedgerows are abundant with wild fruit, so there is no excuse for leaving home without a handy carrier bag in your pocket. Pick enough for a crumble, or try this recipe for wild fruit jam. Whether it’s plum, damson or blackberry, a homespun dollop of wild fruit jam drizzled on to some warm freshly baked bread is a real British treat.
QUERY: At the Game Fair last year I purchased a jar of hedgerow jam. It was jolly delicious and I would now like to make my own. The obvious hedgerow plant is the blackberry but can you suggest other fruits to go with this and, perhaps, a basic recipe?
AH, by email
HOW TO MAKE WILD FRUIT JAM
A Hedgerow jam is made from a mixture of wild fruits. It can include bilberries, sloes, elderberries and blackberries and to this one can add a handful of hips and haws. The jam must be sieved to remove any stones and pips plus the hip seeds, which are like burrs.
Remove any stalks and leaves from 4lb of wild fruit and place in a pan with a couple of cooking or crab apples cut into quarters. Add water so it just covers the fruit and gently simmer until soft. Rub this through a sieve and weigh the pulp, return to the saucepan with an equal weight of sugar and stir to dissolve. Boil hard until the jam reaches setting point. Pot, cover and seal.