I can remember our mother telling us ‘If you get out there and fetch some blackberries, I’ll make some jelly’. We returned hot, scratched and with purple fingers. It was worth it though when we had the luscious jelly on bread and butter. We were also given it in a warm drink by the fire before we went to bed on cold winter nights. Yum. It was such a strong memory that when I was offered a cutting from a thornless blackberry I was over the moon.
A most undemanding plant, the himalayan blackberry was easy to get to grow well and now needs very little attention apart from cutting out dead fronds after fruiting and tieing in new growth. We have had more than 40lbs this year – possibly reflecting the generous dose of manure we gave it last winter. We decided to make blackberry jelly using the Certo recipe, which takes 3lbs of berries. The longest bit is the straining through a jelly bag that takes ages but resisting the impulse to squeeze it is hard the resulting jelly is worth it, clear and delicious, melting sensually in the mouth.