Saturday, July 7, 2012

Making Raspberry Jam in 2012!

Back when I started this journey in 2008 I did a post on Making Raspberry Jam.  I have so many posts and years of postings that they all get messed up together.  Maybe this is the year to figure out an easier system.  The book above is from the Time-Life series, The Good Cook-Preserving contains the blackberry or raspberry jam recipe.  Pammy from Thyme Square Gardens asked for the recipe.  I did a pretty good job on the post the first time.  I think my cooking time was a bit off though.  So here is the 2012 version.

Seven Cups of Berries and Three Cups of Sugar Layered in a Bowl Overnight
Blackberry or Raspberry Jam
From The Good Cook-Perserving by The Editors of Time-Life Books
Makes Four 8-oz. jars

7 cups of blackberries or raspberries, including some unripened fruit
3 cups of sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, optional (This is if you don't have unripened fruit.)

Layer seven cups of fruit with three cups of sugar in a bowl overnight at room temperature covered with plastic wrap.  Boil jars for 10 minutes and place lids in boiled water.  Cook mixture on high in at least a 3 quart saucepan until it boils and starts to foam.  Stirring constantly and do not leave the stove once it starts to boil.  Reduce heat to medium high.  Start to skim off foam into a small dessert dish.  Once skimming is finished, cook mixture for five or ten additional minutes until it starts to coat the back of a spoon.  Pour mixture into four sterilized jars and process in boiling water bath for 7 minutes 30 seconds.  If jars aren't sealed by the next day, refrigerate and eat promptly.  

The trick to this part is to be quality control.  Berries must be firm and not mushy or damaged.  When I say damaged I mean have any imperfections.  The Herbal Husband says I'm too picky, but it makes much better jam.  I picked out four berries out of this morning's batch that had imperfections.  You want to be able to see both berries and sugar even after it has sat overnight.  If you have liquid when you put them into the cooking pot, you will not have a good set.  The additional ingredient you may have to use is 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.  This would be if you have no unripened fruit.  So long as you have mostly ripened fruit, it doesn't matter how much unripened fruit you have, you should have a good set.

Still Have Whole Berries and Sugar At Beginning
Make sure you wash your jars and rings and lids.  Then boil your jars for 10 minutes and place your lids (not the rings) in boiled water before you start the heating of the berries, sugar and if necessary the lemon juice.  This may not look like a big enough pot, but it is just right for me.  It is a 3 quart Revereware pot.   You may want to use a bigger nonreactive (anything but aluminum) pot.

This Is Coming to a Boil on High and Before Skimming Has Occurred
I know I don't have to remind the jam and jelly makers, but you need to stay by the jam or jelly once it starts to boil.  DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE FOR ANY REASON!  Once your mixture comes to a boil and the foam starts to form, I quickly use my spoon to ladle out the foam.  A small dessert dish is all you need.  If you are getting more foam than just a dish, it may not set up correctly.
A Small Dessert Dish Perfect for the Jam Foam
 In the early days of making jam, The Herbal Husband would talk me into making jam with the last year's cane berries.  He worked hard and he thought that all berries are created equal and should make great jam.  This recipe makes four jars.  Typically for me last year's canes berries were sticky.  If your berries are sticky, they will not make good jam.  Also if they are mushy, they will not set up.  If you are getting more than four jars, again the recipe will not set up correctly.  I usually make raspberry vinegar with last year's canes berries.  This year will set a record.  I have made 44 jars almost 4 boxes of jam!
What The Jam Looks Like After Skimming
You want to cook the mixture down five to ten minutes longer.  My first post said 20 to 30 minutes.  That's too long.  You want it to just be setting up because it will continue to set up overnight once it is canned.
This is the Mixture Just Before Putting in the Jars
Jars 41-44!
You just want four jars full.  If you have more than that left in the pan, you probably will not get a good set and I say eat it with ice cream!  So my final thoughts are be really picky about the berries, have some unripe ones in the mix and four jars is the perfect set.  So I'm always here to answer your questions. I'm enjoying a popsicle.  Got The Herbal Husband inside for a break.  So stay cool if you are in the heatwave!  Talk to you later.


Dorothy said...

Your jam looks delicious, but it's way too hot here to cook! :)

Kay's flowers said...

I will have to try that recipe because it doesn't use pectin. It sounds delish. This is day 4 of the sun and we are all in heaven here. Have a great day.

lemonverbenalady said...

Well, the AC was going any way, Dorothy. Glad we haven't lost power. I would have been in a pickle or making jam another way! Thanks for stopping by.

It really is simple Kay! I know you will enjoy it. Glad you still have sun. We still have heat. Counting the hours until it's gone!

Charlotte said...

That jam looks yummy!

lemonverbenalady said...

It is very yummy, Char. Thanks for stopping by! xxoo Nancy

Pammy said...

OH thank you so much for posting this!!! I'm book marking it!! I hope we get a bountiful harvest on the Raspberries! Working on Watermelons right now. Thinking a nap is in order LOL xox

lemonverbenalady said...

Trying to fit that watermelon in the jar! LOL! Might be tricky! Hope you get a lot of berries, Pammy! xxoo Nancy

myrtle said...

WoW! That looks really luscious.

lemonverbenalady said...

Thanks Myrtle! I must say it is pretty delicious!

Tricia Hantke said...

Do you have the raspberry vinegar recipe from the same book? My mother-in-law is looking for it and I cannot locate our copy.

Thank you!