I love the tart yet sweet flavor of Raspberry Jam. For years I bought my
jam, trying many brands, always comparing the different flavors and textures.
Some were excellent, but the problem was always price, as a small jar of really good
jam is quite expensive. Now, if you just use the jam on your
morning toast, the price is not so bad as it lasts a long time. But I
really like to use it in my baking, to fill tarts, cakes, bars and
cookies, to flavor frostings, or to serve alongside pancakes and waffles. So I decided
to make my own. And you know
what, it's easy to make. Homemade
raspberry jam tastes so good
and I like how you can adjust its thickness and decide whether you want to
leave the seeds in or strain them out. Now, there is no canning involved with
this recipe. It makes a small batch and maybe I should have called it
Refrigerator Raspberry Jam, as it's stored in the
refrigerator. It can last a couple of weeks, although mine never does.
To make homemade raspberry jam you only need four ingredients.
Raspberries, fruit pectin, granulated white sugar, and freshly squeezed
lemon juice. Each ingredient plays a role. Of course, the raspberries are
the star and for this jam we are using frozen unsweetened raspberries. I know
you may wonder why we don't use freshly picked but keep
in mind that frozen raspberries are picked at their peak and
quickly flash frozen. So their flavor and quality is consistently good.
And the good part is you can make this jam any time of the year. Next, the
fruit pectin. Pectin is a flavorless substance that helps to thicken and
jell (set) the jam. It is naturally found in fruits but since the amount
can vary depending on the fruit, sometimes powdered pectin is added to
help with thickening. But pectin doesn't thicken on its own. It needs
quite a bit of sugar plus an acid (lemon juice) to produce a jam with a
clear gel that has a glossy sheen. While raspberries naturally have a fair
amount of pectin, we are adding powdered pectin because of the way we are
making this jam. That is, for a short time under a hot flame, as opposed
to cooking it slowly, for a long time under a low flame. Of course, sugar
is needed to sweeten the fruit and to help with thickening (gelling)
the jam. And lastly, the lemon juice, which again helps with thickening
the jam plus to perk up the flavor of the raspberries. When cooking the
jam there are a few factors that affect cooking time - your pot,
the level of boiling, and how thick you want the jam to be. If
you like your jam to be a little runny, it will need a shorter cooking
time than if you want a really firm jam. If you are new to jam making you
may want to do the Freezer Test to check the jam's consistency.
Raspberry Jam: In a small bowl stir the pectin into the
sugar. Place the frozen unsweetened raspberries and the sugar mixture in a
medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, over medium
heat. When it's at a full boil, adjust the heat to keep the mixture at a full
boil and, stirring frequently, cook for about five to six
minutes. Do not let it burn. (As the jam boils, you will notice large
bubbles and some foaming. You can skim off the foam if you like. As the jam
continues to boil the foam will subside, the bubbles will get smaller, and the
jam will become darker in color with a glossy sheen .) Remove from heat and, if
you like, do the Freezer Test
to check its consistency. Place a little jam on a frozen spoon, wait a
minute for the jam to cool down, and check the consistency. If the jam isn't
firm enough, return the saucepan to the heat and cook a little longer. Once made, stir in the
lemon juice and strain to remove seeds, if desired. Transfer to a heatproof jar or
bowl and let cool. Then cover and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups (360 ml)
raspberry jam. Preparation Time 20
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