A few weeks ago, I met Lindsey at the raspberry patch in west mountain. It's a small patch of raspberry bushes where you can pick to your hearts content, for a small price. We spent the early morning hours filling our small baskets and buckets with the most beautiful red raspberries. Of course we tasted a few, and the babe had to have eaten at least a pound herself, which we were sure to pay for. I'm pretty sure she wasn't eating only berries either; regardless, she was in heaven. We returned a week or so later, just our little family. It has now become a tradition, bundling up in our sweaters and boots, heading out before anyone else on the block has stirred, and returning with basketfuls of plump juicy berries. I am pretty sure a sound nap on the ride home will be a favorite part of this newfound tradition.
For a few days we ate the berries with our morning oatmeal, in fresh lemonade, mixed with frozen strawberries and blueberries under a drizzle of coconut milk, and of course by hand. With the rest I made some jam. I was going to use the same recipe I used for the apricot jam I made earlier this summer, but because the raspberries were much sweeter, I used less sugar.
I am incredibly excited that this will be a tradition for our family because this is the best raspberry jam I have ever had. We may have to return within the next few weeks so I can make more; seeing as we only have a few smears left. It's a good thing I made apple butter this weekend.
If you live nearby, I would highly recommend visiting the raspberry patch for a fun afternoon or saturday morning berry picking. You appreciate food when you put forth the effort to harvest it.
1 quart fresh raspberries, firmly packed
1 to 1 1/2 cup sugar
juice of half a lemon (optional)
Warm sugar in a preheated 200 degree oven while you rinse, pat dry, and mash the raspberries in a non-reactive sauce pan over medium to med high heat. When the berries and juices are starting to bubble, add the warmed sugar and stir until dissolved. Continue to cook over medium heat (lower it if you began at a the higher temperature), and scrape the bottom of the pan periodically to assure the jam does not stick.
The jam will bubble up, but eventually reduces to a thicker and lower boil. There is no need to eliminate any of the foam, it should disappear as it begins to cook at a lower boil. After letting it boil for a few minutes, begin testing the jam by spooning out small samples and either placing directly on a frozen plate, dropping it into a small glass of ice water (bit of a waste because then you can't taste it!) or just blow on it until it's cool enough to taste yourself.
When it is at your preferred consistency, remove the jam from heat, add the lemon juice if using, stir well, and pour into hot canning jars leaving 1/4 inch at the top. Tap the jar gently on the sides (be sure to have mittens on) to remove air bubbles, wipe the top rims to remove any rogue jam, cover with metal lids and bands. Process cans in boiling water, not touching the bottom of the pan, for about 10 minutes or according to manufacturer's instructions.
If you do not plan to keep the jam in storage, only the refrigerator, you do not need to process the jam jars in the boiling water bath.
As with any type of canning, please follow proper canning procedures.
yield: about 32 ounces or so
- warming the sugar beforehand is optional, but supposedly it helps the sugar to dissolve and therefore "jam" quicker.
- I haven't tried this with frozen berries, but I imagine it could work. If you try it, let me know.
update: this recipe worked well using frozen berries as well, thanks Connie!
one more small note, there are two interviews I did in the past little while. One for my dear friend Robin, over at thank your body, and another for my lovely zupas co-blogger Deborah from taste and tell. If you would like to get to know me better, take a peek into my kitchen, and read my definition of "eating healthy", be sure to visit their wonderful blogs.
I will warn you, my kitchen already looks different because I am participating in the kitchn's kitchen cure. I am excited for all the holiday baking that will be happening in my beautifully organized kitchen in the near (four weeks away) future.
how was your monday?