Using blackberries foraged from Stanmore and cooking apples picked in Dollis Hill, five of us got together earlier this month to cook up some tasty local jam.

Group member Frances once again hosted our workshop in her Willesden kitchen. Despite it being the hottest September day since 1911, we kept our cool while the jam reached its setting point of 105 degrees. We followed this recipe, using three times the quantity from our plentiful supply of fruit. The session included various top tips from Frances, including the wrinkle test on a chilled saucer to tell if the jam has set.

Once everything was chopped, mixed in and the resulting ruby red concoction on the boil, we had ample time for refreshments – home made elderflower cordial and a deliciously yummy lemon drizzle cake that would have fared well in The Great British Bake Off! A flurry of smart phones took pictures and videos throughout, but nothing captured the wonderful aroma of blackberries cooking other than being there.

In all we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and participants took home a couple of jars of our local preserve to boot. The remainder will be sold at our forthcoming stalls.

See photos here

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