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Blackberry & Brandy Jam // Victorian

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

For one day every late August/early September, the pair of us make our way down to our secret semi-local foraging spot for a morning of nothing but blackberry picking. By 12pm, we'll have finished and start to waddle back home swinging a basket full of lovely, juicy berries.
This 1868 recipe for "Blackberry Jam" used up a good measure of this years' pickings. We've had enjoyed ours (so far) with a 1920s recipe for cream scones which was just heavenly. The brandy also gives it a subtle warming kick!
Original Recipes: 'Blackberry Jam' (Book 1, 1868)
Speed: 50 minutes


  • Blackberries

  • Preserving sugar

  • Brandy

Measurements given: 1 imperial quart fruit = 1lb sugar = 1 wineglass* brandy

...which, in modern measures, is... 950g fruit = 454g sugar = 140ml brandy

* A Victorian wineglass = 140ml



1. First of all, ensure that you have thoroughly washed your jam jar and allowed this to dry the day before making your jam. Your jar needs to be bone dry; if there's even a trace of moisture the jam can turn mouldy.

2. Mash together the sugar and the berries in a large saucepan, or even better, a preserving pan, until fully combined.

3. Transfer to the hob and stir over a low heat until thickened. For us, this took about 20 minutes.

4. Pour in the brandy and continue to stir over the heat for 25 minutes.

5. Pour into your jam jar and leave to cool completely with the lid off before securing and tying over.


Original Recipe for 'Blackberry Jam'

'BOOK 1': Warne’s Model Cookery and Housekeeping Book (1868)

Compiled and Edited By: Mary Jewry

Publisher: Fredrick Warne & Co. (Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London, England, U.K.), printers: Savill, Edwards and Co. Printers (Chandos Street, Covent Garden, London, England, U.K.)

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