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!
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.
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).
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!