These Old Fashioned Raspberry Preserves are so easy and full of fresh raspberry flavor. You'll think of them as delicious little jars of sunshine on cold winter mornings!
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. Instead I made Old Fashioned Raspberry Preserves!
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 because I love how fresh the jam tastes AND I love the bright color that's retained, because the jam is not cooked.
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.
The reviews were too good to pass up
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.
Pull out a jar of summer sunshine when those cold winds blow!
There's something absolutely lovely about jewel-hued jars of jam all shiny 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 stores and big box stores. 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!
Café Tips for making these Old Fashioned Raspberry Preserves
- Fresh or frozen raspberries can be used for this recipe. I've tried it with both and I can't really tell the difference.
- I store all my jam in the freezer. It eliminates having to use a hot water bath and worry about sealing the jars properly. It keeps the jam super fresh for 6-9 months.
- Some people worry about putting glass jars in the freezer. I've been doing it for 40 years and have never had one break. Just make sure you leave a little room for expansion at the top of the jar. A half inch is just fine.
- This jam makes a wonderful gift. Who wouldn't love to get a beautiful jar of delicious homemade jam?
What I used to make these Old Fashioned Raspberry Preserves
- 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.
Add lemon juice and stir very well. 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.
Adapted from Epicurious