Friday, March 28, 2008

Raspberry Jam

By request, here's the easiest jam recipe in the world. It's from the Sunset Home Canning book, and it's quick enough to be made on short notice for spooning over pancakes, cheesecake, etc. If you find that it's too runny, adding a bit of fresh lemon juice can help bring out more pectin. 

3 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
3 cups sugar

Mash berries in a saucepan and stir in the sugar.
Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and beat with a wire whip or rotary beater for 5-6 minutes.
Ladle into sterilized jars and seal.



Bee said...

Oh, delicious taste of summer!

I know that we will eventually get sick of them, but every year I long for the time when the strawberries and raspberries start flooding in. It is such a pleasure to pick raspberries . . . and I never realized that it could be so simple to make the jam!

Thank you, thank you for posting this bit of summer lusciousness for me.

BTW, Camille and I went on a little DVD spree today and I got Amelie (which I love -- and which I know that Camille will love) and Les Trois Coleurs: Rouge (which for some reason I've never seen. I saw the "white" and "blue" versions.) Amelie was only a fiver -- what a bargain! Do you already own it? If you don't, tell me, and I'll get one for you.

Anne said...

You are very welcome! I don't know if all raspberry vines are like this, but the ones my parents have bear twice every year: once in early summer, and again in the fall! We get a little sick of them during the summer, and have just enough time without them to be glad of their arrival when they bear again. It works out quite well.

The jam really is simple. Most jams aren't terribly complicated, but this one is especially easy. You could easily make a smaller batch if you don't want to deal with the sterilized jars and such (which I think is the most trying part of the jam-making process).

Rouge is my favorite of the Trois Couleurs trilogy. I hope you enjoy it! And I do have a copy of Amelie, thank you! I bought it almost as soon as it was released on DVD. I first saw that movie hours after I learned that I had gotten into the Paris study abroad program. As you can imagine, I was on cloud nine.

Brave Sir Robin said...

I have never had so many fresh raspberries that I "got sick of them".

Ahhh California!!

What is Les Trois Coleurs: Rouge or white and blue for that matter.????

Supersaps said...

The Trois Couleurs is a great French movie trilogy. I'd provide more detail, but I haven't seen them in awhile.

How do you sterilize jars?

Brave Sir Robin said...

Canning Jars may be boiled to sterilize. It is best to have a rack to set them on to keep them off the bottom. If your dishwasher gets hot enough, that should work as well, but most recipes call for boiling the jars. Anne? True? I'm not much of a canner, but my mom was. (Funny, because she wasn't that good of a cook, but her jelly, preserves and pickles were wonderful)

When brewing beer, sterilization is the toughest part of the job. I used to soak the bottles in a bathtub of bleach and water, but now, I run them through the dishwasher on a full heated cycle with a little bleach in the bottom. No soap. Works great.

Anne said...

BSR - when you have three 12'-long beds full of raspberry vines, you get a LOT of raspberries... even more than a family of six can handle! Mom generally picks about four cups of berries each morning in peak season.

And you've never seen Trois Couleurs?!? Get thee to thy Netflix queue without delay! Ce sont des grands films du cinéma français.

Anne said...

Oh! On jar sterilization: when my mom is feeling lazy, she just runs them through the dishwasher right before she expects to need them. If you have the stove space, get a huge pot of water boiling and boil the jars while you prepare the jam; use a smaller pot for boiling the lids and rings. Use tongs to fish out the jars, lids, and rings as you fill them (there are special rubber-coated tongs specifically for jars if you find them slippery).

Also: when you fill up a jar, put the lid on and screw the ring nice and tight, then put it upside down on a wire rack for 5 (I think) minutes. The heat from the jam helps the lid to seal properly. Then turn them right side up and let them cool. There should be an audible pop from each lid as the jars cool, and this will tell you that the lid has sealed properly.

Perhaps I should have included canning instructions in the original post! I tend to forget that that this is not something everyone learns while growing up.

Anne said...

Postscript to my last comment: somewhere (probably in a box in the garage) I have a 1930s-era edition of a book on home canning. It's hardcover, about an inch thick, and seems to have everything anyone would ever want to know about canning anything! Maybe I'll fish it out and see if there are some useful tips I could add to this post.

Anne said...

Right on, BSR, and thanks for reminding me about the rack. I have mine in a box with my other canning tools... it's almost time to bring them out again!

Bee said...

Thanks for all of the info on jar sterilization.

I have a childhood memory of picking cherries in Wisconsin -- and then watching my mom spending the better part of an extremely hot and sweaty day trying to can them.

Is this why I have (only unconsciously, truly) avoided the ritual/chore of canning/preserving?

Also, my grandmother used to always make pear preserves. Does your mom do that one? You can't really buy it -- not that I've noticed, anyway.

And BSR, do you often make beer . . . or was that just some grown-up playtime?

Supersaps said...

I'd love to hear more tips on canning. Can I just use regular jars? (Ie, old spaghetti sauce jars that I have washed out and decided to reuse?)

Anne said...

The problem with reusing that type of jar is that the lids can't be reused, at least not if you want it to seal properly. Generally you can reuse mason jars and rings that you buy for canning because the lids come separately, so you can buy new lids without having to buy a whole new set of jars each time. If you can find lids and rings that fit on old pasta sauce jars, that should work.

I'll work on pitting up a canning post this week.

Supersaps said...

Good to know. Would also love a recommendation on where to find cheap but good mason jars!