Gransnet forums



(63 Posts)
GagaJo Tue 20-Jul-21 23:57:41

This time last year, there were a lot of blackberries on the bushes, almost ready to pick. I got a LOT at the end of July/beginning August. This year, every bush I've checked still only has very small, hard green fruit. I'm in the NE.

On the plus side, last year before I disappeared off abroad to work, I put a load of berries into some vodka. Totally forgot about it at the back of a cupboard. Came across it clearing out the cupboards on my return. Absolutely delicious once I'd strained it and added some sugar. Summer in a glass.

grannyactivist Sat 21-Aug-21 18:08:45

I walked to the vets with my grandson this morning (and the dog in case you were wondering) and there were lots of quite small, but perfectly ripe blackberries for the picking all along the footpath. They’re much smaller than my cultivated ones and the first one appeared to be very sour, but it didn’t stop the four-year old from munching away at them.

The bushes on my allotment have huge juicy ripe berries growing alongside tiny, hard, green underripe ones.

Callistemon Sat 21-Aug-21 21:31:31


I've promised to make my husband some blackberry jam this year....never made it before have any of you 'jam makers' any good hints or tips to help me please?

TIA smile

As far as I remember, it does set quite well but I usually add some lemon juice to help with setting.
I prefer bramble jelly now, no pips, although we do eat blackberries usually with apple.

The birds always get to the elderberries before we do.

Amberone Sat 21-Aug-21 21:50:12

The flipping pigeons have eaten all our elderberries this year. We have a big bush that flowered really well and there should have been masses of berries. I couldn't work out where they were going until I saw a couple of pigeons hopping from branch to branch

Grandmadinosaur Mon 23-Aug-21 08:50:14

Gangstergranny hope I’m not too late for your jam making. A tip I heard on my local radio is to use instead of using equal quantities of fruit and sugar he said to use 3/4 sugar. Apparently it gives a better set and isn’t as sweet but doesn’t last as long. As I find hm jam too sweet so I tried it and it worked a treat. I also add a squeeze of lemon juice and put the piece of lemon in the pan whilst cooking and mash the fruit a little ( not to a pulp) before simmering.
Can’t decide whether to make more today or blackberry flapjacks in readiness for DGS visit on Wednesday.

boheminan Mon 23-Aug-21 08:56:34

Friend and I went blackberry picking yesterday (South Oxfordshire) and all the bushes we went to had been pretty well picked out, so the berries were out earlier than last year. I will be using my harvest to make a demi-john of blackberry wine :-)

GagaJo Tue 24-Aug-21 22:57:41

Went to 'my' blackberry patch today. Must have picked at least a kilo, if not more. I took GS with me but the briars were quite wild and a bit too much for him.

I think I've seen some elderberries too. How do you harvest/cook them? They're tiny aren't they?

Greyduster Thu 26-Aug-21 13:46:22

Gagajo pick the clusters of berries that are truly ripe - black in other words. They are a pain in the u no where to prep, stripping all the berries off the stems with a fork is boring and time consuming, and then separating out all the red/green ones that you might have missed (and the stems are toxic). I only cook them and use them for cordial these days which, with ginger and cloves added is a lovely warming winter drink and very good for you - we gave up making wine. You can buy dried elderberries but they are quite pricey.

GagaJo Sun 29-Aug-21 20:08:24

Picked a few elderberries today. Not many, but it's the first time I'll have tried cooking with them so that's OK. I have no idea what they taste like.

I also found another, seemingly unknown, stash of blackberries (rubs hands in glee). I'm making blackberry cordial with them.

tanith Sun 29-Aug-21 20:15:46

I made four pots of blackberry jam today, I also added the juice of a lemon it set really nicely not too firm I need to go pick some more. Anyone made rhubarb jam/jelly? Fancy giving it a try.

Jaxjacky Sun 29-Aug-21 21:16:03

I picked some a couple of weeks ago, they were big and lovely. Went back today, no rain has meant what’s left is small, hard berries.

grannyactivist Mon 30-Aug-21 00:13:27

Fresh fruit pastilles made with blackberry juice are a firm favourite with my grandchildren, but my family also crave bramble jelly and my husband loves a blackberry and apple crumble. It’s fortunate that my bushes are flourishing as I need so many in order to meet the demand. ?

GagaJo Mon 30-Aug-21 15:38:51

Cordial is delicious! And I've only had the cloudy squeezings from the 2nd boiling of the berries. Sweet, sharp and dry.

I'm currently making the elderberry cordial. Such a tiny amount, hardly seems worth it. But I'm seeing it as a trial run for a bigger batch when the elderberry patch I'm eyeing up is ripe.

How do you make fresh fruit pastilles grannyactivist? I'd love to make healthy sweets for DGS.