In the second week of July I was house-sitting for my dad, who abandoned his produce in favour of a week long kayak trip to the Deer Group on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Deciding to take full advantage of his crops, I harvested buckets and buckets of raspberries. After freezing lots of winter smoothies, I decided to make my first foray into jam making.
Using my delightful BHG Canning magazine, I selected a recipe (plain raspberry jam) and set to work. Here is the recipe and some basic instructions.
8 cups raspberries
1 package powered pectin
7 cups sugar
Crush raspberries until you have 5 cups of crushed berries in a large (8-10 quart) pot
Add pectin and bring mixture to a boil
Stir in all 7 cups of sugar and return to a boil
Boil for a full minute, stirring constantly
Skim foam (add some margarine to reduce the foam – it works like a charm!)
Ladle into sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace
Process in boiling water canner for 5 minutes
Voila! You now have 8 half-pints of delicious raspberry jam! When I started canning I was SO fearful of killing someone with my preserves that I did not deviate even slightly from the recipe. As time has gone on, I have determined that I like the sweetness of my jam “cut” a little bit, so I tend to add a few squirts of lemon juice to my boiling fruit and sugar mixture. It is totally safe, and adds just a little bit of dimension to the jam.
This particular jam was a big winner, and of my 8 jars, one went to my dad, several went to Dale’s mom (who is apparently a jam fanatic), and one is resting happily in my fridge, adorning my toast or crackers when I want a little post-work snack. Mmm jam!
Is this similar to recipes you have used before? Any suggestions for how to take a basic raspberry jam and dress it up a bit? What is your favourite way to eat your preserves?