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This July, I picked many fresh raspberries. I used some in my pavlova, topped pancakes/waffles with them, put them on cereal, tossed them into salad, and ate others by the handful. I wanted to make some into jam, but knew I wouldn’t have the chance while they were fresh (or before they were devoured). I thought of freezing them for later jam and smoothie making. I love berries in the off season, however the frozen ones usually become mushy once thawed. To overcome this, I froze the berries on a baking sheet in a single layer. Once they were frozen I moved them to a bowl and sealed well. It worked like magic, they didn’t clump together or turn mushy when defrosting them. Now I was ready for my berry adventure… So last night, I made Jam!

The Process:
I had to first prep the jars, I’m new to jarring and canning and found this as the trickiest step. I used my tea kettle to warm water, which I then used to heat the jars and lids in my sink. I kept the bands at room temperature so they were easy to handle.

Then it was time to make the jam… I measured about 4 c. raspberries and cooked them with 1 c. apple cider (the recipe called for apple juice, but this is all I had on hand, it’ll make for an interesting dynamic in flavor), mashing berries as I boiled the mixture. I gradually stirred in the pectin, bringing to a steady boil. I then stirred in 4 c. sugar and boiled for 3 minutes. Then it was time to pour the mixture into the jars.

Prepping the Jars

Prepping the Jars

I filled the first two jars, leaving a little more headroom then suggested. The remaining 6 jars, I filled leaving only  1/4″ before placing the lid on the jar and sealing with the band. Then I placed the upside down jars into the sink and filled it with more hot water (enough to cover the jars completely).

Upside Down Steam Bath

Upside Down Steam Bath

Young Wifey Jam

Young Wifey Jam

After 1/2 hour in their steam bath, I removed them from the water to test their seals. As I pushed on the center of the lids, they didn’t move, telling me that the seal was set. Then I was supposed to let them sit for 24 hours before opening or refrigerating.

The result: A little too sugary for my liking, but it will make a nice dessert topping… I was thinking about spreading some on Nilla Wafers. Yum!

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