Bramble Jelly

IN

Most days along Islay’s winding single track roads you can be sure to find a local knee-deep in a roadside ditch, gingerly reaching into the hedgerows just…that…little…bit…further… to pinch the most juicy and plump fruits.

As bramble pickers edge their way along the bushes, faces hard with foraging concentration, hands becoming increasingly tainted with deep crimson juice; baskets, tubs and bags of fruit are gathered. If you happen to catch a glimpse of the face of a bramble picker you may notice a stained corner of their brimming mouths giving them up as a pick-one-eat-one sort of forager.

So what to do with the glut? 

Try making the sheer joy in a pot that home-made bramble jelly. To every 2kg of rinsed and drained brambles add the juice of 2 lemons.

Why not add a little to you cocktail shaker next time you get that bottle of The Botanist out the cupboard?

Simmer until they are soft and strain the hot mess through a jam or jelly strainer (a teacloth tied up over a large pot also works). Do not force the liquid through but let it drip through slowly. You can even leave it overnight to make sure you get all the good stuff.

The juice will be a beautiful deep purple colour. Measure how much bramble juice you have and to each litre of juice add 750grams of sugar. Boil this slowly until you reach ‘jam’ on a jam thermometer or if you cool some of the cooking jam on a freezer-cold plate and push it with your finger it will start to wrinkle. If it does this it has reached setting point.

Carefully pour the hot jelly into sterilised jars.

Cover and store.

Why not add a little to you cocktail shaker next time you get that bottle of The Botanist out the cupboard?

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