So easy and so full of fresh raspberry flavor!
Earlier this week, I saw raspberries on sale at one of my local stores for $1.25 a carton. I was thrilled and knew exactly what I’d do with them.
But guess what? I didn’t do exactly what I thought I’d do. I was certain I was going to make raspberry freezer jam. I’ve made it every year for as long as I can remember along with lots of of other types of freezer jam. I’m a big fan of freezer jam for several reasons, the first being how fresh the jam tastes. I also love the bright color that’s retained, because the jam is not cooked. And since I have a second freezer in my garage, it’s easy to store this jam out there versus stacking up the jars in my crowded little pantry. I also love that the freezer eliminates the need to process the jam in a hot water bath; and that’s a huge winner in my book.
I was actually all set to make my usual jam when I happened to run across a recipe in Epicurious for Old Fashioned Raspberry Jam. Old Fashioned? I quickly skimmed through the recipe. It sounded easy, really easy. And quick too, as the jam is only cooked for 5-10 minutes. When I read all the fantastic reviews, I decided that maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks! So away we went!
I pulled out a big pot, my berries and the sugar jar and got busy. That’s actually all the recipe calls for. Berries and sugar. I did add a splash of fresh lemon juice at the end, as I love the way it enhances the fruit and tones down the sweetness a bit.
The reviewers over at Epicurious weren’t kidding. The jam is fantastic and takes way less that 30 minutes to make. The Epicurious recipe calls for warming the sugar in the oven before adding it to the hot raspberries. Their rational is that warm sugar will dissolve better. Honestly, I don’t think that step is necessary. I did warm the sugar with my first batch of jam and skipped it the second time around. I didn’t notice a difference- and I’m all for eliminating extra steps that aren’t needed.
There’s something absolutely lovely about jewel-hued jars of jam all shining and stacked up on the kitchen counter. Makes me feel like the industrious little ant who is well prepared for the cold months to come. In my book, there’s nothing like pulling out a delicious jar of jam for breakfast on a blustery winter day. It’s like pulling out a jar of summer sunshine.
Even though this is not freezer jam, I still store it in the freezer. You can also go the traditional way and process the finished jam in a hot water bath. The jam can then be stored at room temperature.
Got a few minutes to spare? Pick up some raspberries next time you’re at the market. You’ll also need an instant read or candy thermometer and some small jars. You can buy jam/jelly jars at most grocery and big box stores. I also love these Bormioli Rocco Quattro jars I found online. Homegoods or TJMaxx are also great places to find cute little decorative jars like you see in the pictures. I snatch them up when I see them, as I love giving jars of delicious jam as little gifts to friends, neighbors, hostesses, etc.
I think you’ll be shocked at how easy these Old Fashioned Raspberry Preserves are to make. If you’ve never made jam before, this would be a great place to start. If you’re a long time jam maker, give this easy, delicious recipe a try. Either way, I have a feeling it will find a place in your “favorite recipe” collection!
- 4 cups smashed, fresh raspberries , use a potato masher to smash the raspberries
- 4 cups sugar
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Place berries in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring continuously. Boil hard for 1 minute, continuing to stir.
- Add sugar, return to a boil, and boil until mixture reaches 220˚F on a candy or instant thermometer.
- Ladle into clean jars for storage in the freezer or into sterilized jars if processing with a water bath. Here is Epicurious’s method for water bath processing. If water-bath processed, this jam can be store at room temperature.