Beautiful Raspberry Jam Captures The Pure Taste Of Summer
You can make raspberry jam faster and more easily than you think, whether the berries are fresh or frozen. The process is virtually the same, and you’ll get delicious results either way. If you are a canning newbie, this is a good one to make; it’s not fiddly or fussy at all.
Important Things To Know For Your “Jam Session”
We love to make jam, and when we do, we always say we’re having a “jam session” simply because it makes it sound even more fun! Please read through the instructions before you begin, and be ready to follow them. They are simple but critical to success.
Before you begin, get all your canning supplies together to avoid a mad rush to the store. Once you have started a batch, it’s almost impossible to stop. That’s my lovely canning towel. Probably a graduation gift from long ago. I keep it stashed in a handy drawer on my kitchen island, where we conduct our jam sessions!
Everything you’ll need is readily available at grocery stores, hardware stores, online, and even at Walmart. The things you’ll need are inexpensive and last a long time. And believe me, you’ll find lots of uses for jars, jar lifters, and canning funnels beyond making jam!
We like to use half-pint jars that hold about a cup of jam. Run them through the dishwasher, or wash them in hot sudsy water, and rinse them thoroughly before using them. Set the rings aside in a handy spot at your workspace. Put the flats in a container with very hot water. And now you are ready!
If you are processing your raspberry jam for long-term storage, you will need a second stockpot deep enough to hold the jars allowing at least one inch of water over the lids. If you have hard water, add a couple of glugs of vinegar to the water to keep lime from forming on your jars. Set that on the stove now to heat.
Meanwhile, measure exactly seven cups of sugar into a measuring cup and set it aside. This is an important step because when you add sugar to the fruit, you must add it all at once. (Yes, it’s a lot of sugar, this is jam!)
If you’re using frozen raspberries, put them in a large pot over low heat so they defrost, and mash them a little bit. If you are using fresh berries, you must wash them and spread them on a towel to dry, then put them in the pot over medium heat and mash away.
Once that lovely mixture begins to boil, add a box of powdered pectin, lemon juice, and a teaspoon of butter. The butter is optional, but it helps prevent foam from forming on the top of the jam.
Once the fruit mixture comes to a boil, add all the sugar at once and continue cooking. Yes, it is a lot of sugar. This isn’t diet food! Jam is meant to be a treat and eaten in small quantities! As the raspberry jam cooks, the mixture becomes translucent, colorful, and very, very hot.
The sugar makes it boil at a temperature hotter than boiling water. I suggest you use your longest spoon, and I have even put a glove or oven mitt on your stirring hand!
When it reaches a boiling point that you can not “stir down,” set a timer for exactly one minute and keep stirring. When the timer sounds, take the pot off the heat and move it to a cooling rack or a thickly folded towel like my hot pink one in the photo!
Use your canning funnel to ladle the hot mixture into the jelly jars. Leave at least one-half inch of headspace between the jam and the top of the jar. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe off the jar’s rim. Place a flat lid on the jar, then screw the lid and ring in place. A magnetic lid lifter is a very handy thing to have for this! It sure saves your fingers!
- 8 cups of fresh raspberries -OR- 3 12-ounce packeages of frozen UNSWEETENED red raspberries ***
- One 1.75-ounce box of pectin
- 2 Tbsp of lemon juice
- 7 cups of sugar
- 1 tsp butter, optional, it keeps foam from forming on the jam.
- Get ready for your "jam session." Assemble everything you need before you begin!
- Choose a tall stockpot to cook jam in. The fruit needs to be defrosted and mashed up a little if using frozen fruit. It's up to you how chunky you want to leave it.
- After filling them, you'll need a second tall pot of water deep enough to cover the jars by one inch for the boiling water bath. Start it now. Put flats (lids) in a bowl of very hot water, ready to use. Add a tablespoon or so of vinegar to the water so lime doesn't form on jars.
- Jars are fine if you've run them through a dishwasher on a hot cycle. Assemble a canning funnel, sterilized jars, jar lifter, flats, rings, and a clean damp dishcloth for wiping rims. Lay a thick bath towel on the area where you'll fill your jars.
- Combine fruit, pectin, lemon juice, and butter in the stockpot. Bring to a boil.
- Next, add sugar all at once, and keep cooking and stirring until the mixture reaches such a boiling point that it cannot be "stirred down." You do not need a thermometer.
- Keep cooking for one minute;, set a timer! The jam will be HOT! Use a very long wooden spoon to keep stirring, or wear an oven mitt on your stirring hand! Remember: The jam will be HOT!
- Remove from heat. Put the pot of jam on a heatproof cutting board or trivet. It's hot!
- Ladle jam into sterilized jars with a canning funnel. Leave about 1/2" headspace. Wipe the rim of each jar with a clean, damp cloth. Check for any nicks on the jar rim with your fingertip. Do not use it if a nick is present. Put on the lid and ring. Tighten by hand.
- Put jars in a boiling water bath and process for 10 minutes. Remove jars from the water bath onto a rack or towel-covered surface using the jar lifter. Allow them to sit without moving them until cool. You'll hear the distinctive "ping" sound as the jars seal.
- If one does not seal, refrigerate and use it within about a month. Trust me; this will not be hard to do!
** If you are using fresh raspberries, rinse them well and spread them on a towel to dry.
If you are using frozen raspberries, put them right in the pot to defrost so you preserve all the juice.
DO NOT TRY to double the batch! Tempting, but it does NOT work well. Instead, make subsequent batches; you don't need to wash the pot in between!
Here Are The Final Steps To A Successful Raspberry Jam Session
You must process the jars in a boiling water bath for ten minutes. Place each filled jar in the boiling water bath using your jar lifter. Make sure the boiling water covers the tops of the jars by at least one inch. Set a timer.
When it rings, use the jar lifter to remove the jars from the water bath, put them on a rack or thickly folded towel, and let them sit undisturbed until they are completely cool. Success! Enjoy hearing the satisfying “ping” sound as the jars seal. If a jar doesn’t seal, keep it in the refrigerator and use it within a month or so.
Raspberry jam is amazing on toast, biscuits, or dinner rolls, but it’s also delicious over ice cream, stirred into yogurt, or filling the depression in thumbprint cookies. Our daughter gives her special friends a jar of raspberry jam for their birthday, and it’s always a hit!
We love making jam and jelly! Here are some of our most popular recipes! Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, Jalapeno Jelly, Peach Jam, Corn Cob Jelly. Has anyone ever taught you to make jam and jelly? It’s easy and rewarding; we hope you try it!
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