While L has been perfecting her new bike riding skills, B and I have been in the bushes that run along the sides of our (traffic free) lane hunting out blackberries, ready to cook up a batch of our favourite apple and blackberry jam recipe.
Have you ever made jam with your children? I always though it was tricky but actually it’s very easy – and great fun too because the fruit bubbles up like witches brew in a cauldron!
I think the whole process of this jam making teaches children so much:
:: how nature grows food out in the hedgerows, available for us to forage, without a trip to the supermarket
:: how the seasons change and so different fruits become available
:: how to read a recipe and measure and weigh ingredients
:: how to handle equipment such a knives and thermometers safely and for a practical purpose
:: how heat can transform ingredients as you cook
If you’d like to try some jam making with your kids, here’s our favourite recipe. And if you have your own favourite jam recipe to share, we’d love to see it – please leave us a link in the comments.
Easy blackberry and apple jam recipe
2lb blackberries: thoroughly washed and creepy crawlies removed
12oz eating apples
approx. 2lb caster sugar
1. Core and chop the apples (no need to peel) and place them and the blackberries in a very big pan.
2. Add just enough water to cover the fruit and simmer until the apples are soft.
3. Sieve the fruit to remove the apple skins and blackberry pips. We used a ladle to squash all the pulp though the sieve.
4. Discard the peel and pip mush that’s left in the sieve and weigh the remaining fruit pulp.
5. Add 1lb of sugar for every 1lb of pulp. (We had 2lb of pulp from these quantities)
6. Put the fruit and sugar in a big pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves.
7. Then boil rapidly until the jam reaches the setting point* (about 15 minutes).
8. Pour into sterilised jars and leave to cool.
9. Jam heaven. Great on toast or in jam tarts.
*Around 220F / 105C. To test if it’s ready put a spoonful of jam on a saucer that’s been in the fridge. Leave for a minute them poke the jam with your finger: if the surface wrinkles, the jam’s ready.
Head back to school feeling confident and excited, knowing you are all organised with my rich, educational curriculum.
Your autumn lessons will be stress-free because you have this whole-brain, hands-on, engaging programme of lessons that your children will love.