Yesterday, I found myself near Costco so I decided to stop in to grab some toilet paper and paper towels. Twenty minutes later, I got into my car with a few bottles of red wine and two huge boxes of organic blueberries and raspberries in addition to the things I actually needed. Time to make some jam!
My sister-in-law gave me the Rachel Saunders Blue Chair Jam Cookbook last year for Christmas and I’ve only used it once to make a small batch of rhubarb jam earlier this summer. Today I really broke it in. Spills on crisp white pages only help to establish character!
I opted to try the “Mem’s Red Raspberry Jam” which made 6 6-ounce jars of jam to give away in addition to 2 4-ounce jars for me to keep. The recipe used about 5-6 clams of raspberries. Of course I’m biased because I just spent the last hour or so making it, but it’s fantastic!
- 2 1/4 pounds red raspberries
- 3 pounds white cane sugar
1. Place a saucer and five metal teaspoons in a flat place in your freezer for testing the jam later. Have ready a medium-mesh strainer or chinois suspended over a heatproof bowl.
2. Combine the berries and sugar in an 11- or 12-quart copper preserving pan or a wide nonreactive pot. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring and mashing constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the juice begins to run from the berries. As soon as the sugar dissolves, increase the heat to high. (I kept getting splattered here so I put a dishwashing glove on my stirring hand which helped a lot.) Continue to cook, stirring very frequently, until the mixture boils. Boil the mixture vigorously for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Best to begin testing for doneness after 10 minutes.
3. To test for doneness, remove the pan from the heat and carefully transfer a scant half teaspoonful of jam to one of your frozen spoons. Return the spoon to the freezer for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove and carefully feel the underside of the spoon. It should be neither warm nor cold; if still warm, return it to the freezer for a moment. Tilt the spoon vertically to see whether the jam runs; if the jam does not run, and if it has thickened to a near-jelly consistency, it is done. If the jam runs, return the pan to the stove and cook the mixture for another few minutes, stirring and testing again as many times as needed.
4. Using a stainless-steel spoon, skim any remaining foam from the surface of the preserve. I don’t mind the seeds so I skipped the straining part. If you prefer seedless jam, quickly transfer the jam to the mesh strainer and force as much of the preserve as possible through it by pressing on it with the back of the spoon. Discard the seeds. Skim any foam that lingers on the surface of the strained jam.
5. Pour the jam into sterilized jars and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Or eat as “refrigerator jam” and move into the refrigerator once the jam has cooled to room temperature. It should last a few weeks if you don’t eat it before then.
Sterilization Instructions: Wash jars with hot soapy water (or clean in the dishwasher) and stand them up on a baking sheet along with the same number of unused lids. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees and put the sheet in the oven for at least 30 minutes. Take them out when you are ready to fill the jars. Once filled (leave about 1/2 inch of space from the top and wipe the rim with a damp paper towel), screw the rims on (don’t force it), and put back into the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove and cool on a drying rack for 6-8 hours so that they seal. Consider yourself a pro once you have heard the lids pop!