Dark notes produced at jam session

Who doesn’t like raspberries, save for a few people who are allergic to them and other related fruits? My late sister loved raspberries and would often eat a whole punnet at one sitting. I like them too and, in Melbourne, the supply of fresh berries is usually plentiful from mid-Spring until mid-Autumn. The local season used to peter out soon after Christmas but has been extended by the development of new varieties; we also have convenient late-season access to fruit grown in the cooler climate of Tasmania.

As in other fruit-producing parts of the world, there is a long-established tradition of converting some of the seasonal bounty into jam, both commercially and in family kitchens. Raspberry jam is very popular and is a fund-raising staple at school fetes and the like. Personally, I prefer to make a jam based on equal amounts of raspberries and blackberries. A case of ‘shiraz palate’, perhaps? Certainly it has an attractive complexity and a dark, brooding colour reminiscent of a full-bodied glass of my favourite red wine variety.

I call it Dark Berry Jam. I only make one batch of the jam a year, using just 500g of each fruit. That produces enough for our own needs and for two special friends – the husband of my favourite cousin and a woman in her late 80s whom Maggie met through her work at a girls’ school.

So, now we have our annual supplies of Fig & ginger jam and Dark berry jam. Soon, it will be the season for Seville oranges, and I will be able to make a batch of marmalade to complete the suite of spreads for our weekend breakfast treat of tea and toast in bed.


500g raspberries
500g blackberries
¼ tsp tartaric acid
80ml lemon juice
1kg sugar


  1. Place the berries in a large pan with the tartaric acid and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil rapidly, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until a small spoon of jam jells on a chilled saucer within 30 seconds.
  3. Pour into sterilised jars and seal.

Dark berry jam

About rmgtravelsandfood

Maggie and I are both in our mid-60s and live in Melbourne, Australia. This blog is devoted to our shared passions for travel and fine dining at home. As cooks, we are skilful and adventurous within a framework of mainly traditional ingredients and techniques, and we aim to prepare nutritious food that looks good and tastes delicious. Our evolving repertoire is influenced by both our travels and Melbourne's vibrant food culture. While we are young enough, our priority travel destinations are overseas, although we do spend a few long weekends each year exploring parts of south-eastern Australia. As travellers, we are most comfortable with a combination of organised and independent touring. Our first overseas journey together was to Italy in the northern autumn of 2008. We later travelled in France (2009), Spain (2011), Singapore and Cambodia (2012/13). All trips from 2014 to 2016 are documented in this blog. When time allows, we will publish posts about our journeys - eight and counting - in 2017, 2018 and 2019
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