The last few days here in Norfolk have been amazingly warm and sunny. It’s cool first thing but by 10 o’clock the sky is a beautiful bright blue and the sun puts his hat on. It’s perfect weather for our Autumn Bliss raspberries, this years crop has been amazing and we’ve eaten ourselves silly on fresh berries from the garden, along with putting them in a cooked crumble and also making a Summer Crumble ( this is ridiculously easy and extremely nice to eat…. scatter the crumble mix on a baking parchment lined oven tray, bake on gas 6 for between 5- 10 minutes, meanwhile pick your raspberries and put them in a bowl, open a tub of thick cream. Remove the golden crumble mix from the oven and sprinkle over the raspberries while it is still hot, the heat releases the summery smell of the raspberries so intensely, scoop in a good sized dollop and cream, I don’t think it even saw the sides of my mouth!)
On Saturday I made a few jars of my favourite Raspberry jam, which takes no time at all to make, it is quite a soft set jam and is so good on freshly baked scones (especially while the scones are still warm from the oven), it makes delicious jam tarts and is a fantastic filling for a vanilla sponge cake (we even use it for chocolate cake and that soon disappears……actually no cake seems to last very long in our house). We have in the past been addicted to those small Giu desserts and the little glass jars are perfect for jam. This recipe only makes a small quantity of jam so you don’t need to make it in a special jam pan, I use a big Le Crueset style pan and that really works fine . You can double the recipe but I would then recommend using a proper jam pan as the jam bubbles up and jam burns are the worst.
500 g freshly picked raspberries
400 g granulated sugar (I use golden as it has a lovely taste)
juice of half a lemon
Some sterilised jam jars
A saucer in the freezer with which to check for a set.
Don’t wash the raspberries, just check them over. Put them into your pan. Cover with the sugar and the lemon juice. Bring the fruit to a gradual boil, all the time just very gently stirring the fruit and the sugar together.
Once the fruit begins to boil, keep an eye on the time. The jam needs between 5-8 minutes (a bit longer if you are using more fruit), skim where needed, check for a set on the chilled saucer, then pour into the sterilised jars and cover with waxed discs.
Last year I made a fantastic blueberry jam, sadly we didn’t get enough fruit on our bushes to make jam this year. I love the glorious colour of our blueberry bushes in the Autumn. They are such a dazzlingly bright red and the change in colour happens really quickly.
We’ve bought both our blueberry bushes from Blooms of Bressingham and their plants have been really healthy and we’ve had a good supply of fruit (in previous years… this year I think the fault was all mine, I didn’t keep the plants wet enough). The raspberry leaves are a very vivid green and the contrast with the red of the blueberry leaves always amazes me. Another couple of weeks, a day or two of wild,wet, and windy weather and the bushes will be bare (actually that almost sounds like a British Summer) but for now I’m enjoying the colour.