…which was 13th of November. In a normal year, we’d have kissed goodbye to the last of our tomatoes in late September/early October. But this wasn’t a normal year. I placed the unripe Gardener’s Delight tomatoes I’d picked when I took down our tomato plants in a bowl and left it on our dining table. Amazingly, most of them ripened, and only a few turned into those horrible frostbitten monstrosities that tomatoes become when you’ve left them out in the cold weather for too long.
I ended up putting them in a chilli con carne.
I was forced to defrost our freezer yesterday. Somebody (don’t know whether it was Mr Beans or me) had left the freezer door slightly ajar, resulting in a huge ice build-up inside the freezer. This meant that the door couldn’t be shut at all, hence the need to unplug and defrost. This meant that I had 1.2 kg of blackberries that I didn’t know what to do with, so I ended up making blackberry and apple jam.
I don’t normally care for blackberry and apple jam, because all the variants of it that I’ve ever tasted have been too sweet. So I had a go at doing a reduced sugar version. It came out lovely, although be warned: there is a trade-off between amount of sugar used and cooking time. Reduce the amount of sugar, and you increase the cooking time. If you’re using the quantities I’ve used, you will need to allow two hours from start to finish.
750 g apples (that’s 750 g after peeling and coring)
1250 g blackberries
Juice of one lemon
600 g sugar
Peel, chop and core the apples. To stop the pieces going brown while you’re doing them, place them in cold water.
Wash the blackberries if necessary (I didn’t need to do this ‘cos I’d already washed mine before I originally put them in the freezer).
Place the apple pieces in a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of the water. Bring to the boil, with stirring, until you’ve more or less got apple sauce (a few solid bits of apple are OK though). Add the blackberries, and cook further for a few minutes. Add the lemon juice, and stir it in.
Take the mixture off the heat and add the sugar. Stir thoroughly to dissolve. Put back onto the heat and boil, with frequent stirring, until the mixture is set. This will take quite a while so do be warned!