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Raspberry jam is easy to make because it requires, essentially, only 2 ingredients: sugar and raspberries. Adding a third ingredient, pectin, will help create a more firm jam that requires less cooking time. I usually opt for the 3 ingredient method.

The naturally occurring acid in raspberries is such that no additional acid (such as lemon juice) is required to lower the ph to a level where it can preserve the jam and prevent bacteria growth.

The Three Ingredient Recipe
  • 1 kg raspberries (frozen is fine, fresh is better)
  • 7 cups of sugar
  • 1 package of powdered fruit pectin (57g)
If using fresh fruit, wash them gently in cold water. Drain well using a colander or strainer.

Put the fruit into a large stainless steel pot over a medium high heat, stirring constantly until the fruit is well heated and beginning to liquefy. If your fruit is frozen, cover the pot but remember to stir at least once a minute to prevent the fruit on the bottom from scorching. Once the fruit has thawed, stir constantly until heated through.

Add the pectin and stir well into the mixture. Turn up the heat, stirring constantly and bring the mixture to a boil.

Add the sugar one cup at a time, mixing after each. I removed the pot from the heat to do this, but it's not necessary if you're quick (it'll start to boil pretty quickly). Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Keep the pot over a high heat and stir constantly so the sugar doesn't burn. Bring the mixture to a hard boil (which you can't stir down) and keep it boiling for 1 minute. If you don't boil it for 1 minute then the jam may not set as stiff as you might hope for or expect. Remove from heat.

The mixture may foam up a bit while boiling. If the foam doesn't subside on it's own after you remove it from the heat, skim it off and discard before you put the jam into jars. If there's only a bit a foam, don't worry about it.

Ladle the jam into sterilized mason jars and seal them as described in the Pickling node. Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath to kill any bacteria and seal. They should keep for at least a year if sealed properly.

A note about pectin: There is a difference between the powdered and liquid forms and they can't be used interchangeably. Liquid pectin would be added to the fruit and sugar mixture after it has been boiled for 1 minute. Once the liquid pectin has been mixed in, no further cooking is required. This method results is a slightly shorter cooking time since you can mix the fruit and sugar cold, bring to a boil, add the pectin and be done with it.



The Two Ingredient Recipe
This method is basically the same as above, but without the pectin and the cooking time is increased greatly.
  • 2 kg raspberries
  • 6 cups of sugar
Mix the berries and sugar in a large stainless steel pot. Stir constantly, starting over a medium heat and gradually increasing the heat as the mixture liquefies.

Bring the mixture to a boil over a high heat and keep it boiling vigorously for 20 minutes, stirring constantly.

Ladle into prepared jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes to sterilize and seal.


Preserving
It's not necessary to seal the jam into jars and process them in a boiling water bath to seal. The jam will keep in the refrigerator for a good long time if you store it in sterilized jars. You can also keep jam in the freezer and thaw it as required over time.

If you've never preserved anything before, start here. This is the simplest, least stressful jam recipe imaginable. There's no standing at the hob, no boiling, and no checking for setting point. The result is a decadently soft-set jam, but it must be stored in the fridge.

I made a scant 750g jar of this yesterday evening whilst the oven was on and cooking dinner: efficiency in several forms, then. My grandmother and I did discuss the suitability of other fruits for making this. We decided that the very soft nature and high sugar content of raspberries (or fruits related to them, for example loganberries) was the key factor, and therefore it was a raspberry-restricted recipe.

If you hadn't guessed, this is another recipe brought to you by my father's allotment of bountiful wonders. It used all the raspberries that had been picked yesterday.

Ingrediments
Method

Preheat your oven to 200° Celsius.

Spread your raspberries evenly across one large, high-sided oven dish and place your sugar in another suitable oven-proof container. I used a flan dish for the raspberries and a casserole for the sugar.

Place both dishes in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the fruit is beginning to bubble and the sugar is hot. (It won't have melted.)

When the fruit and sugar have reached temperature, remove the dishes from the oven and tip the fruit into the sugar and mix well. Also mix very carefully: you have heaps of very hot sugar splashing about. The potential for burns and scalds is high.

When the sugar has dissolved, pour the jam into sterilised jars1 (in this instance, one 750g jar), allow to cool, and then refrigerate.




1 Sterilise jars by washing in hot, soapy water and placing in a slow oven for 20 minutes.


Music to cook to: Dream of Me, by Kristina Train

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