Apple and Blackcurrant Jam: With Lakeland and Billingtons
Now our annual blackcurrant harvest has come to an end, we’re looking forward to all the ways in which we can enjoy our tasty blackcurrants. Although the blackcurrant season is short, our zingy purple berries can be kept in the freezer and enjoyed throughout the year.
Using blackcurrants to make jam is a versatile option for using up surplus fruit, or just as a tasty treat to be enjoyed slathered on toast, sandwiched in a sponge cake or glazed over hot meats.
Due to the abundance of produce available throughout the seasons, making jam can be enjoyed all year round. The winter calls for cosy citrus preserves such as marmalade, whereas spring and summer embrace blooming florals along with ripe stone fruits and berries. As we edge towards autumn, it’s apples, pears and plums which are perfectly ripe with their sweetness and ready to be captured. Preserving the flavours of now, to enjoy later is much easier than you may think!
Our easy-to-make Apple and Blackcurrant Jam is perfect for this time of year, as September marks the beginning of the British apple season! To achieve the best taste, the jam needs to showcase the very best ingredients. Our recipe includes crisp apples, frozen blackcurrants and Billington’s golden granulated sugar, a natural and unrefined cane sugar. Due to apples and blackcurrants already containing such a high level of pectin, we do not need to use a sugar containing additional pectin, so golden granulated works brilliantly. Also, both sweet with a satisfying hint of sharpness, the apples and blackcurrants go together perfectly in this recipe which champions the best of British produce and brands!
Billington’s began back in 1858 when Edward Billington and Son began trading tea and coffee across the oceans, it wasn’t long before sugar was also being imported. But it was in 1977 that the sugar of the highest quality – the Mauritian unrefined brown sugar – made its way to the UK and earnt the brand the famous title it holds within the food industry today. Quality, integrity and ethical trading are founding values of the brand, along with its rich family heritage which is central to the business today.
Unlike other sugars, the sugar used in our recipe locks in and retains more of the cane’s natural depth of flavour – this is the difference which will make our jam all the more glorious!
Once we’ve made our delicious jam and the setting point has been reached, we use glass jars from Lakeland to portion our jam and let it cool. Founded in 1956 in Windermere, Lakeland was born when three brothers were in need of pocket money on their school holidays and started helping their dad count polythene bags into packs of 100. The brothers stuck to their father’s philosophy of ‘always look after the customer and the business will look after itself’ and Lakeland blossomed into one of the UK’s leading kitchenware companies.
We hope you enjoy making our delicious Apple and Blackcurrant Jam. See the recipe below and don’t forget to share your snaps of the end result!
Apple and Blackcurrant Jam
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: Makes approx 4 x 450g (1lb) jars
500g blackcurrants, fresh or frozen and thawed
500g bramley cooking apples
2 x tbsp British Cassis
1 x 1kg Billington’s Golden Granulated Sugar
* Peel, core and chop the apples into small chunks and place the fruit in a large preserving pan (or a very large saucepan).
* Add the blackcurrants and British Cassis, along with 2 tablespoons of water and cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until the apple and blackcurrants have reduced to a soft pulp – add a little more water if the fruit sticks to the base of the pan.
* Add the sugar and stir over a low heat until it is completely dissolved. Raise the heat and bring to the boil. Cook the jam at a rapid boil, stirring occasionally to prevent the jam burning on the bottom of the pan. The jam should take 5-7 minutes to reach the setting point – to test when it is ready, spoon a small amount of jam on to a cold saucer.
* Leave for one minute and then, using the tip of your finger, push the jam and if it wrinkles then the setting point has been reached. If it isn’t quite ready, continue to boil the jam and test 2 minutes later.
* Towards the end of the cooking time, sterilise the jars. Preheat the oven to 120C, fan 110, gas ½. Wash and dry the jars, place them on a baking tray and heat in the oven for 10 minutes.
* Pour the jam into the hot jars, add a waxed disc to each one and seal with a lid. When the jam is cold, it is ready to eat.
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