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General Chat Thread, Mists and mellow fruitfulness in General; Out today picking blackberries (obviously thinking of you less fortunate souls at work...ho hum) - its just a bumper crop ...
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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Mists and mellow fruitfulness

    Out today picking blackberries (obviously thinking of you less fortunate souls at work...ho hum) - its just a bumper crop this year - picked 6lb and only moved a few feet in either direction from where I started.

    All cooked up and dripping from my jelly bag ready to be cooked up into Blackberry & Apple Jelly tomorrow - yum

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    Meanwhile, in Cumbria, I was being blasted by 50 mph hailstones at the head of honister pass -
    as my bro-in-law was up from surrey and wanted to watch the tour of Britain somewhere special.
    But they did have a good BBQ going .

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    Out today picking blackberries (obviously thinking of you less fortunate souls at work...ho hum) - its just a bumper crop this year - picked 6lb and only moved a few feet in either direction from where I started.

    All cooked up and dripping from my jelly bag ready to be cooked up into Blackberry & Apple Jelly tomorrow - yum
    I shall be doing the same but with just apples. Apple jelly is lovely - a delicate flavour and a beautiful colour. If you have lots of blackberries, why not make just bramble jelly without the apples? It tastes wonderful Not such a good year for hazelnuts, sadly but I can't really complain as the last few years have been amazing. No competition when picking, either as most people don't even know they are there.

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    Bramble jelly sounds good - I was a bit worried about the pectin content though - so thought the apples would help the set.

    Its raspberries off the allotment this afternoon - got to make jam as I'm running out of freezer space for them!

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    Am off to Texas at half term so will be picking pecans with my grandson then going collecting pumpkins for lanterns. Cannot wait

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    witch (17th September 2013)

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    I went and picked a huge sack of blackberries a few weeks back, there were SO many about I could have filled a skip with them (I might be slightly exaggerating)

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    Mists and mellow fruitfulness
    One of those topics you click where you've got NO idea from the title what's going on in the thread.

    Anyway some blackberries grew over the wall in the alley by my house, but my gf and I ate them all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    Bramble jelly sounds good - I was a bit worried about the pectin content though - so thought the apples would help the set.

    Its raspberries off the allotment this afternoon - got to make jam as I'm running out of freezer space for them!
    Bramble jelly should set fine - just use jam sugar if you are worried - it has pectin in it
    With raspberries I would make jelly, not jam - can't bear the pips.
    We have a grapevine on the front of the house and for years I have thought about trying to make grape juice or wine but never have - this year I intend to use them for grape jelly a la USA - will be interesting

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    I've just picked the Pears off my Autumn fruiting tree, going to make apple and pear crumble for the Rugby Club harvest auction (i will of course have some for myself)

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    Well the jelly went OK - made nearly 8 lb in the end - too wet to go raspberry picking today though.

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    I went out to collect 2lb of brambles for bramble and elderberry wine, came back with 6lb. Never known a bounty like it. Almost no elderberries though, oddly - perhaps the long winter has played havoc with the flowering - so decided to just make a straight bramble wine. It's bubbling away in the jar now

    Looks like there's more of a bramble crop now than when I went out a fortnight ago to get that lot, so going to get some cheap vodka and make some bramble vodka with it. Jelly and jam require too much attention to detail and patience for me

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    The vodka sounds good - trouble is I like making the stuff more than eating or drinking it - got cupboards full of flavoured alcohol and shelves of jam and chutney. I keep telling the wife that we'd be sorted in the event of national emergency - but its wearing a bit thin...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Jelly and jam require too much attention to detail and patience for me
    Nope - jelly doesn't - it's really easy. You only have to wash the fruit, not cut it up or anything. You just chuck it in a pan with some water (don't know how much for jelly but it is half a pint per pound for apples). Cook until soft (10 mins?). Find something to strain it through - I use the old muslin square from when the children were little - and suspend it for 24 hours. Don't squeeze it or the jelly will be cloudy. Clean some jars and put them in the oven - gas mark 2 - to sterilise and warm them. Measure the juice and add jam sugar as per the recipe. Boil. Test for setting point after about 5 mins. Put a little bit on a plate. Put in the fridge for 30 secs. Push the jelly with your finger or a spoon - if it wrinkles, it's done. Skim the scum off. Pour into jars. Use a teaspoon to get out the scummy bits on top. Top with waxed paper and a damp jampot cover. Secure with an elastic band. Done!

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    sonofsanta (18th September 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Nope - jelly doesn't - it's really easy. You only have to wash the fruit, not cut it up or anything. You just chuck it in a pan with some water (don't know how much for jelly but it is half a pint per pound for apples). Cook until soft (10 mins?). Find something to strain it through - I use the old muslin square from when the children were little - and suspend it for 24 hours. Don't squeeze it or the jelly will be cloudy. Clean some jars and put them in the oven - gas mark 2 - to sterilise and warm them. Measure the juice and add jam sugar as per the recipe. Boil. Test for setting point after about 5 mins. Put a little bit on a plate. Put in the fridge for 30 secs. Push the jelly with your finger or a spoon - if it wrinkles, it's done. Skim the scum off. Pour into jars. Use a teaspoon to get out the scummy bits on top. Top with waxed paper and a damp jampot cover. Secure with an elastic band. Done!
    Witch is right - making jellies and jams is dead easy - make sure you use a big pan though - as it will bubble the pan a lot when its boiling. Personally I stick a plate in the freezer and use that to test that its reached setting point - the cold of the plate cools the liquid down really fast - though I did pick up a digital thermometer in Aldi for a couple of quid recently and have been trying it out - it seems to work well - 104 C for setting. Also - I don't like the waxed disc and cellophane cover - I just re-use the lid of the jar I'm using - as long as its not damaged you get a really good seal and hear the reassuring "click" as the jam cools and contracts meaning the lid has been pulled down and is air tight.

    Am making Blackberry Doughnut Muffins tomorrow to use some up...not so good for the waistline...

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    witch's Avatar
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    I do re-use the lids but often my jars are from pasta sauce and you can't get the orange staining off the inside of the lid - doesn't look good (or possibly taste good either)

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