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Overcoming obstacles

January 11, 2011


Jam or Jelly?  Do you know the difference?  I didn’t until I decided that I wanted to make Raspberry something.   Turns out it’s a pretty simple distinction:  Jam is made from whole fruit, meaning every edible part of the fruit is involved, while jelly is made from fruit juices.  There are other differences, but that’s the crux of it.  Once I knew the difference, I knew that jam was what I wanted to make.  Obstacle one cleared.

Obstacle two was a little bigger.  It’s not summer and raspberries aren’t plentiful or inexpensive.  I toyed with the idea of using frozen raspberries but they had sugar added already and I didn’t know how that would affect the results. 

Obstacle three was the clock.  I went into this thinking I had a project that would take the better part of the day when in reality, I think I was  in the kitchen for about two hours.

Because I was making jam and using whole raspberries, my cooked fruit had a lot of seeds in it.  I used a double mesh strainer and the back of a spoon to strain out the majority of seeds.  I liked the look of the jam better that way.  It’s a step you don’t have to take, it was just my preference to have fewer seeds.

Don’t be put off by the amount of sugar in this recipe.  Sugar acts as preservative for the raspberries and, even with all that sugar, my jam is still a little on the tart side.  From what I’m reading, the tartness may be a result of the added pectin.  I’ll need to keep researching that.

I used 4 oz jam jars for this recipe and produced 16 jars of jam. 

Raspberry Jam
recipe adapted Ball

5 cups crushed raspberries (8 – 6 oz containers whole raspberries)
7 cups white sugar
1.75 oz Ball Original Fruit Pectin

Prepare your boiling water canner, jars and lis according to your manufacturer directions.

Crush your berries one layer at a time.  I put the berries in a zip lock bag and quickly ran a rolling pin over them to crush.

In a 6 or 8 quart sauce pan, combine the crushed berries and up to 1/2 tsp butter (to reduce foaming).  Gradually stir in Ball Original Fruit Pectin and, over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil that can’t be stirred down. 

Add entire 7 cups of sugar, stirring to dissolve.  Return mixture to a full rolling boil.  Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and skim foam if necessary.

Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Clean rim and threads to remove any residue.

Center hot lids on jars, add bands and tighten until just fingertip tight.

Place filled jars in canner.  The jars should be covered by 1 to 2 inches of water.  Add hot water if necessary.  Place lid on canner and bring the water to a gentle, steady boil.

Process jars for 10 minutes.  After processing time, turn off the heat, remove the lid and let the jars stand for 5 minutes.

Remove the jars from the canner and set upright on a towel to cool, undisturbed for 12 – 24 hours.  After the cooling time, test the seal of each jar by pressing the center of each lid.  If a lid doesn’t flex up and down, the seal is tight.  If the lid flexes, you haven’t achieved a solid seal.  Refrigerate any unsealed jars immediately and use within 3 weeks.

Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dry, dark place for 9 – 12 months.  

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