Beautiful Bilberries

This year has been a good year for bilberries on the moors. The tiny pink flowers appear in spring and are replaced with tasty purple berries as August approaches. They are delicious to eat right up there on the moors, or to pick and take home to be transformed into bilberry and apple pie or bilberry jam.

My mum’s old recipe for bilberry jam is 2 1/2 lb of bilberrys, 1/4 pint of water, 3 tbsps lemon juice, 3 lbs sugar and pectin (quantity as recommended by the manufacturer on the bottle or packet). Simmer the cleaned fruit, water and lemon juice for about 10 – 15 minutes, then add the sugar, stirring until dissolved, boil for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add the pectin and put into jam jars.  Delicious!

 
Bilberries

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Bilberry Flowers on the Moors

All over the Peak District moorlands bilberries are now in flower.  The berries will ripen in August and are delicious!  Bilberries are known in other parts of the country by other names such as Whinberries or Whortleberries but they are the same thing.

Bilberry in flower

Billberry in flower