Brodie Williams hails from Cupar and reached the semi-finals of TV series MasterChef in 2017
With the heatwave over, hopefully everyone has enjoyed the glut of wonderful summer fruits, which are now coming to an end. A way to use up the leftover fruits (often being sold cheap at this time of the year) and the ones coming into season, like the damson, is to make jams and jellies. Or alcohol…
The process of making jam is very simple regarding ingredients – it’s basically the fruit of your choice and sugar. Some recipes will call for jam sugar. This contains pectin, which is naturally found in fruit, and is needed to help the jam set. The jam will set at 104.5C so either use a sugar thermometer or keep your eyes peeled for when the frothy rolling boil changes to a more relaxed boil. Usually recipes will call for equal weight ratio between the fruit and the sugar. I like to use slightly less sugar, as it can be overly sweet.
While I was on MasterChef I used the word bramble (instead of the English version, blackberry), which seemed to really irk Piers Morgan (Google it!). So thought it’d be appropriate to share a bramble jam recipe, as I made some the other day. The beauty of this is that the berries can be found in hedgerows all over the shop, I got mine from my neighbour’s overgrown garden!
Start by putting 1kg of brambles in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat until they have formed a juicy pool in the pan. Add the juice of one lemon, then add 800g of jam sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring to the boil and heat rapidly for five minutes or so. Remember jam can always be reheated, but can be overcooked. Allow to cool a little, then pour into sterilised jars. Now you’ll be able to enjoy the summer fruits during the winter months, what could be better?
Some produce to use in September: Game birds (grouse, wild duck, partridge), venison, brambles, damsons, elderberries, apples, pears, chestnuts, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, squash, pumpkin.
Music to cook to: If you’re anything like me you end up cooking far later than you’d planned. Frank Ocean’s Nights is the ideal music for this time.
Instagram handle – @brodiecooks