Quick bramble jelly

Step by step recipe:

  1. 25 min.Quick bramble jelly : Photo of step #1
    Prepare a blackberry coulis without any sugar: blend 1 kg 300 g blackberries, then strain this purée through a very fine seive, keeping just the juice.

    From 1300 g of blackberries you should be left with about 1 kg of juice.
  2. 10 min.Quick bramble jelly : Photo of step #2
    Pour the juice obtained into a high-sided pan and add 800 g caster sugar and the juice of 1 lemon.

    Put over high heat and mix with a whisk.

    Bring to the boil, whisking frequently, and being careful to ensure that the juice does not catch on the bottom.
  3. 3 min.Quick bramble jelly : Photo of step #3
    As soon as it begins to boil, a foam will form on the top.

    Turn down the heat, then skim off this foam and discard it, using a skimmer or, if you don't have one, a large spoon. See below for more on this.
  4. 1 min.Quick bramble jelly : Photo of step #4
    Mix 5 g agar-agar with a teaspoon of sugar to help it mix more easily with the blackberry juice.
  5. 1 min.Quick bramble jelly : Photo of step #5
    Add the agar-agar and sugar mixture to the blackberry juice while whisking briskly.

    Turn up the heat and bring back to the boil, whisking continuously to ensure thorough mixing. You can use a hand mixer briefly for this.
  6. 4 min.Quick bramble jelly : Photo of step #6
    As soon as the pan boils, turn off the heat and pot up the jelly. Be careful - it's very hot!
  7. 3 min.Quick bramble jelly : Photo of step #7
    As soon as the jars are filled and sealed, turn them upside down.

    This trick forces the air in the jar up through the scalding hot jelly, so sterilising it, which helps the jelly to keep longer without turning mouldy.
  8. Quick bramble jelly : Photo of step #8
    After a few minutes, turn the jars right way up again and leave to cool before putting them away, preferably in a cool dark place.


You will notice that the cooking time for this jelly is very short, thanks to the agar-agar which acts very rapidly to jellify the juice. Contrary to a commonly-held belief, it is not good to cook jams or jellies for a long time. The longer the cooking, the less fruit flavour and vitamins remain. There's no need to fear "artificial additives" in this case, as agar-agar is a natural seaweed extract, which these days allows use to produce rapidly-cooked jellies with all the flavour of the fruit.

It's not absolutely necessary to skim off the foam when boiling, but this is a part of the jelly that has less flavour and a less smooth texture, which will form an unattractive layer in the top of the jars if left.

Perhaps this foam evokes in you the same reaction as in me, strong as some personal Proustian madeleine, as it brings back memories of my grandmother Jeanne making jam at Bonneveaux when I was about ten years old.



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