Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Homemade raspberry jam
Over the long holiday weekend, I tried something new that I've been thinking about for years. I made raspberry jam! I often buy it at the store, as it's my favorite kind of jam. Raspberries tend to be very expensive here but this past week at Smith's, raspberries were cheaper than I've ever seen them - four half-pints for five dollars! That's a very good price for my area. I bought many half-pints during the sale, turning eight of them into jam on Sunday morning.
I was a little nervous, but it came out so well. The flavor is just incredible - bright and sunny, like summer in a jar! I want to eat it straight from the jar but I've been good, using vehicles such as toast to get my fix.
It was fast and easy to make, which made me happy. I used powdered pectin in my jam; since it was my first time trying raspberries, I wanted the extra jamming insurance. I also processed my jars in a hot-water bath (I use this resource from the USDA, adjusting for my location at high altitude); I know this is a debatable topic, but I do it just to be on the safe side.
My pantry is full of raspberry jam now, and there's still a couple jars of the delicious tangelo marmalade that I made last winter. I just love making jam. Though I've been doing it for several years now, it still feels just a little bit magical to me, even more so since I was able to make a heaping supply of my very favorite kind of jam at home. Please excuse me while I make a sandwich.
Makes about eight half-pint jars
4 pints fresh raspberries
6 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 envelope powdered pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine
Prepare jars, lids and bands as desired; sterilize the jars as desired (I like the oven method: heat jars on a sheet pan or stack of newspapers in a 225-degree oven for 30 minutes). Prepare the hot-water bath if using one.
Wash and pick over the raspberries, discarding leaves and stems. Crush berries in a large bowl. Measure exactly 5 cups of crushed fruit into a large stockpot.
Stir in the pectin. Add the butter to reduce foaming. Bring to a full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Add the sugar and return to rolling boil; boil for exactly one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
Ladle quickly into the prepared jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Quickly seal with lids and bands, screwing the bands tightly. Process in the canning bath if desired.