‘For the love of wild blackberries’ does not have the same ring to it, does it? I’m not even sure that they are blackberries, as the dictionary calls them mulberries but they are nothing like the mulberry tree that I used used to climb and pick the fruit of when I was a kid in Sydney.
So please advise, horticulturists, what are these called in English?
This is the time of year in my village when this plant, all year round a painful and invasive nuisance, finally pays back. It’s luscious and intense fruit makes fantastic jam, and I love jam. The amoras season also marks the start of several months of picking, being followed by the grapes, then the olives, oranges and then finally in November it will rain figs. When the figs stop, the rain will start, and it wont stop raining until may.
I really like making jam, but I only recently discovered that other people like my jam too. It makes me especially happy when my jars of stuff are enjoyed by portuguese friends. Normally my giveaways are just too weird for them, but jam seems to fit in with a normal portuguese jam-freshcheese-biscuits afternoon snack or dessert. And I’m only too happy to find a new way to eat jam.
For 1 jar of jam, I use approximately;
1 jar fruit
1/2 jar white sugar
juice of half lemon
1/3 jar rosé wine
I like my jams a bit runny, full of chunky fruit and not too sweet. The wine gives the jam a bit more complexity and depth.
I boil it up ferociously until a mass of bubbles have collected high above the surface of the fruit – it looks like boiling toffee. It usually takes about half an hour and I could let it go for an hour, but no more. I don’t bother to skim or even test for setting, but I do wash and boil the jars, dry them, fill them warm and then boil them again.
Apart from having jam on toast (especially good on portuguese breads), I also eat it with plain yoghurt for dessert, pile it on ice cream and serve it with fresh cheese, portuguese style. It would also be unforgettable with pannacotta (similar to leite creme in portugal) or on a cheesecake. Or a pavlova! Oh meu amor!