Making the most of this years blackberries
23rd September 2014
... Comments

Due to the hot summer that we have experienced this year, there is an abundance of wild blacberries to be had here on the south coast. A nice few hours of picking them in the countryside surrounding Portsmouth can result in bags full of them and is a pleasant way to spend a few hours away from the city.

A few suggestions to use the blackberries that you have not eaten by the time you get home !


A traditional favourite and simple to make.This recipe will result in a 9 inch pie.


4 cups of fresh blackberries.

1/2 cup of white sugar.

1/2 cup of all purpose flour.

1 recipe pastry for a double crust 9 inch pie.

2 tablespoons of milk.

1/4 cup of white sugar.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F / 220 degreesC.

Combine 3 1/2 cups of berries with the sugar and the flour.Spoon the mixture into an unbaked pie shell.Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of berries on top of the sweetened berries and cover with the top crust.Seal and crimp the edges and cut vents into the top of the crust to allow the steam to escape.

Brush the top crust with milk and then sprinkle with the 1/4 cup of sugar.

Bake in the pre heated oven for 15 minutes.Reduce the temperature of the oven to 375 degrees F /  190 degrees C and bake for an additional 20 -25 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.



1kg of blackberries.

750 g of green apples  ( cooking, approximately 6 peeled and cored).

1.5 kg of caster sugar.

125ml of water.

1 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of nutmeg.

You will need a big saucepan and 10 to 12 jars.


Prep- 15 mins - cook 1 hour - ready in 1 hour 15 minutes.

Place a small plate or two into the freezer.

Put your clean glass jars and the lids onto greaseproof paper on an oven tray and place into the oven.When you start cooking turn the oven on to 100 degrees C.This ensures the jars are sterilised and that they wont crack when you put the hot jam into them.

Peel and core then cut the apples into small chunks.Put them and the water into your saucepan.Cook with a lid on over a nedium heat for about 10 to 30 minutes until soft but not mushy then add the blackberries for the final 5 minutes.

Lower the heat and add sugar and stir it without it boiling until it has completely disolved.Next add the nutmeg and cinnamon.

Bring the jam to the boil and continue to boil for approximately 20 minutes.No need to put the lid on but it is advisable to wear long sleeves and use the lid as a shield as spits of hot jam can occur and it will make you squeal if it lands on your bare skin ! Stir across the base of the pan to prevent sticking and burning.The layer that collects on the top can be left or skimmed off, it's up to you.When the jam falls from a tilted wooden spoon in thick layers, gloopy and not runny, test for setting point.If you have an appropriate thermometer, it should be around 104 degrees C.

Remove from the heat and place a little jam onto the cold plate from the freezer and then return to the freezer.A skin will form on the surface and will wrinkle when pushed with your finger.If it doesn't, put back on the heat again and try again until it does.

Remove your jars from the oven and either transfer the jam into a jug or just ladle it directly into your jars up to the start of the neck.With a clean damp cloth, clean the edges of the neck inside and out and seal with a lid.Leave to cool and then store away in a cool dark place for 6 - 12 months.Remember to refridgerate after opening !


You will need :

A food grade bucket or large bowl that has a lid or a cover for the initial fermentation stage.

A large plastic or metal spoon or paddle to stir with.

Something to strain the wine after the initial fermentation such as a funnel with an integral filter or sieves, muslin or similar.

A couple of glass or plastic demijohns for the later fermentation.The 5 litre square water bottles are a good substitution.

An airlock to stop bugs and other things getting into the demijohn during fermentation.This also allows the carbon dioxide to escape.This can be substituted with a cotton wool plug secured with cling film and an elastic band.

A wine bottle to hold any excess ferment.

Tubing to transfer the wine between buckets and demijohns.

A thermometer.

Six bottles and corks or a 5 litre wine bag/box to store and serve the wine.

The quantities given below will make one 4.5 litre demijohn which will produce six standard size bottles.


1.75 kg of blackberries.

1.5 kg of ordinary white sugar.

4.5 litres of boiling water.

2 tablespoons of pectic enzyme.

Yeast nutrient.

1 tablespoon of wine yeast.

A solution to sterilise your equipment.


Firstly, ensure all of the equipment is thoroughly clean and sterilised before you begin.

It's better to pick blackberries that are nice and ripe on a dry sunny day.

Give the fruit a gentle wash and remove bits of stems etc.

Place them into a bucket and mash them with a potato masher.

Pour on the 4.5 litres of boiling water and stir.Check the temperature and wait until it drops below 21 degrees C.Add the pectic enzyme and stir, then cover for at least 8 hours.

Next day, add the yeast nutrient and yeast and then cover again.Ensure that the cover is not on too tight as if fermentation really begins a tight lid could prove interesting !Leave in a warm place between 20 - degrees C.Within 24 hours, fermentation will have begun and bubbles of carbon dioxide will be visible.

Stir daily for the first 4 - 7 days using a sterilised spoon or paddle each time.

Once the initial vigorous fermentation has slowed down, then the liquid can be strained off the blackberries.

Put the sugar into the clean and sterilised demijohn.Using the filter funnel or muslin filter the ferment into the demijohn.Do this in stages so that you can swirl the demijohn to ensure that the sugar has fully disolved.Top up the demijohn to its shoulder with ferment or water and insert the airlock.

You should be able to see bubbles in the ferment and the gas escaping through the airlock.

The wine will begin to clear after the next stage of fermentation slows down.Sediment should be visible at the bottom of the demijohn.This is the remaining pieces of fruit and dead yeast cells that have finished converting the sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol.

It is good to occassionally take the wine off this sediment, known as "racking".It is a good idea to taste the wine when doing this to see how the flavour changes as time goes on.At first it will taste strong like sweet Ribena but will gradually develop into a more full bodied wine taste.It is better to give the wine a good period of time to develop before finally putting it into the sterilised bottles or bag/box.

Enjoy the recipes !

About the Author

Peter L

Member since: 4th June 2013

An owner of Thebestof Portsmouth, I have lived in Portsmouth and Southsea all my life, so I like to think I have a good idea about what makes us tick. I am passionate about all things Portsmouth and Southsea,...

Popular Categories