I made raspberry jam this morning with the berries from last weekend’s harvest. I am pretty new to canning and I always feel like a mad woman when I drag out my jars and pots and lids and screw bands. By August, everything has left my brain from the previous growing season and I struggle to remember how long it all takes and what the hell I am supposed to do first.
So I started my jam and then started the jar sterilization and that was a huge mistake because my jam was finished in like five minutes and my jars hadn’t even reached a boil….but the great thing about canning? It almost always works out (except that time I put cups of salt in my pickled tomatoes thinking I could use the same ratio as that used for cucs….disaster. Those jars reside in the guest room closet with an inch of dust keeping the seal secure because I keep thinking I will come up with some creative recipe that calls for green tomatoes soaked in the Dead Sea. It has been years and I think I just decided to pitch all of that hard work. ouch.)
This is the jam recipe I used…my first time making jam without pectin. Cross your fingers.
4 cups raspberries
4 cups sugar
makes 4 half-pints or 2 pints
1 random jar with a lid*
1. Sterilize your jars by washing and then boiling like this. Save this water.
2. Rinse berries and remove stems etc. (duh)
3. Mash berries with a fork or potato masher (my fave) and add to large pot (you don’t want this goop boiling over. I have experience with this as well.) Add sugar too.
4. Bring to a boil. This takes like .7 seconds so be ready to stir stir stir. Boil and stir for about 2-4 minutes depending on how thick you like your jam.
5. Test for doneness by placing a small amount on a plate and sticking in the freezer. If it gels after a few minutes, voila!
6. Skim the foam off the surface of the jam and pitch in the sink or other area of disposal. I am not very good at this and often just keep whipping the foam back into the jam and it is just fine.
7. With reckless abandon, pour hot jam into hot jar leaving 1/4″ head space. (I love how recipes always say, “Carefully, pour scalding hot liquid into scalding hot jar…” Seriously, do we need that advice?)
8. Wipe rim of jar clean and add lid and screw cap. Then smile big and shake your booty. You have jam in a jar that you made! Repeat until all jam is in jars.
9. I may be the only one, but I always have some leftovers that don’t quite fill a jar. This is where the random jar comes in. Pour your rogue jam in this jar and put in the fridge for immediate, delectable gratification. If the amount adds up to a half-pint or pint over the course of making batches of jam, you can also reheat and reprocess.
10. Place jars of jam in boiling water canner for the recommended time. This is vague, eh? Here is a chart to help:
|Recommended process time for Jams without Added Pectin in a boiling-water canner.|
|Process Time at Altitudes of|
|Style of Pack||Jar Size||0 – 1,000 ft||1,001 – 6,000 ft||Above 6,000 ft|
|Hot||Half-pints or pints||5 min||10||15|
11. Stand back in wonder that all of those raspberries you picked only made like three jars of jam. And listen to the satisfying pops as your jars successfully seal.
I did two batches of this recipe, yielding three pints and three half-pints. You cannot just double the recipe (or so they say) because it doesn’t cook the same. But I don’t get that.
It makes my heart swell to see you enjoy canning as much as I do! It is wonderful art….one I am sure you will introduce Bug to as well. I think one of the most rewarding visions is to stand back;look in your cupboard and see all those beautiful jars of jams, beets, pickles & fruits! I too have begun the season, I did 22 pints of onion-dilly pickles last week and just finished 34 quarts of dills.
I have such fond memories of sitting in the back yard with my dad scrubbing cucs and then helping my mom “put them up”. I could hardy wait for them to be ready. Not unlike your brother, the pickle freak”, he too loved to help me stuff the jars….then would then spend the next 6 weeks, (every day!), checking on out the jars and ask me daily, “are they ready yet”….he drove me crazy so I finally put a big X on the calendar when they would be ready….he counted down to the day and I think probably had them for breakfast that morning! He still loves pickles but has advanced his tastes,….when he was here last month he intoduced me to a pickle martini….I will stick to my G&Ts.
Happy Canning Sweetie!