Friday, August 30

Quick Raspberry Jam

This recipe locks in the summer-fresh-just-picked-from-the-bush raspberry flavor.  And what’s even better, there’s no canning process involved.

I have been using a similar recipe for freezer jam for years, but with strawberries.  This Raspberry Freezer Jam is just as good!
Remember, when choosing berries, fresh from the farm fruit is always best and has the most intense flavor, which in turn produces the best results.

If you are purchasing produce from a grocery store, try to stick with the organic.
If you are concerned about the sugar, Sure-Jell has low sugar and no sugar recipes on their website. But please research the dangers of artificial sweeteners before using!

I use homemade Raspberry Jam as an ingredient in my sauce for my Jamaican Pork Tenderloin, and on Raspberry Sponge Cake.

Here are a few other uses for Raspberry Freezer Jam:
  • Topping for Ice Cream
  • On cheesecake, brownies or other desserts
  • Filling for Thumbprint Cookies or doughnuts
  • Topping for pork, chicken, duck or a rack of lamb
  • Give as gifts
  • Filling for crepes
  • Topping for pancakes or French toast
  • Fantastic for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Add to yogurt
  • On a slice of toast or with a bagel and cream cheese!

Raspberry Freezer Jam Recipe

What you’ll need:
  1. 3 cups crushed Raspberries (About 6 cups fresh berries or 7 – 6oz pkgs from the grocery store)
  2. 5 ¼ cups pure cane sugar
  3. ¾ cup water
  4. 1 box Sure-Jell (or Certo) Fruit Pectin 
Making the Jam

Wash and rinse containers and lids and then sterilize. Small plastic freezer containers are fine.  I prefer Ball half pints glass jars.

Gently wash raspberries. In a large bowl, crush raspberries thoroughly, one cup at a time, using a potato masher.  You can use a food processor but be very careful not to over process the berries or chop too fine.  Do Not Puree.  Jam should have bits of fruit!  
If desired, press half of fruit pulp through a sieve to remove seeds. I leave the seeds.

Measure exactly 3 cups crushed raspberries into large bowl. 
Next, measure exact amount of sugar into a separate bowl.  Do not reduce the amount of sugar as it may result in set failure.
Stir sugar into raspberries. Mix well. Let stand 10 min., stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, mix water and pectin in a small saucepan. Pectin may start out lumpy, but that’s OK.
Bring to boil on medium high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add pectin into fruit mixture; stirring until sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy, approximately 3 minutes.  (A few sugar crystals may remain.)

Pour jam into sterilized containers, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the jars or containers for expansion during freezing.

Wipe rims of containers or jars and apply lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours until completely set. Jam is now ready!  Freeze containers up to 1 year.  To use, just thaw.  Store thawed jam in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.   

What is Pectin?

Naturally occurring pectin is a soluble fiber found in many fruits and plants.  Pectin is a great example of a natural polymer, and is composed of peptic acid and pectinic acid molecules.  It is basically a compound with a bunch of sugars and acids attached to it.

Every plant contains some amount, sometimes just a very small amount, of pectin.  In the plant/fruit, pectin is the material that joins the plant cells together.  Citrus peels contain the highest amount of pectin, followed by tart apples, citrus pulp, and carrots.  When heated with more sugar and acid (often lemon juice or vinegar), pectin causes a thickening that is characteristic to jellies and jams.

It is also used in fillings, medicines, sweets, as a stabilizer in fruit juices and milk drinks, and as a source of dietary fiber.

You should choose a 100% all natural pectin, and of course organic would be best!

If you're looking to use commercial pectin, you'll have to read the ingredients closely.  There is a wide range of commercially made pectin.  Some contain dextrose, a chemically derived sugar from corn.  Some pectin brands are "sugar-free" but you'll note that they often contain artificial sweeteners, and should be completely avoided!  And many contain other fillers and chemicals.  Read closely!


Do you make homemade jam and jelly? What's your favorite?


Other Posts:

Raspberry Sponge Cake Recipe

Orange Marmalade

Homemade Tomato Soup

Blue Ribbon Sweet Pickle Relish


Anonymous said...

Hi, there is a great video on Youtube where a man shows how to make natural fruit pectin from old apples.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the link to homemade fruit pectin. I have 2 huge old apple trees but they are having trouble producing apples. They were negelected for years so will need years of trimming and care before I can get apples for canning and making apple products, including pectin. Most people think modern pectin is still made from animals, which I'm sure, are still out there. Most pectin today uses raw-materials for production which are dried citrus peel or apple pomace, both by-products of juice production. Most of the problem is the fruit probably is not organic to start with.
Here is a link for information about the SureJell Brand and the fruit it's made from:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait until summer and ripe berries. Is there a difference in flavor between the water bath jams and the freezer jams? I have limited space. Thanks for sharing. Helen

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Helen. Yes there is a BIG difference in flavor! The raspberry (and strawberry) jam tastes like fresh picked juicy sweet raspberries. The canned, which is cooked removes a lot of the fresh berry flavor. I only make freezer jam when it comes to strawberries and raspberries (never cooked) and may add more as I try them out. Canned is convenient because it stores well in the pantry. But if you have limited freezer space maybe just make small batches at a time. You may also want to try both methods and see which one you like best. Hope this helps, Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Dear Elizabeth,

I know you must get a lot of email, but please please please answer this question. I've searched the internet and cannot find an answer to my question. I am making a fresh raspberry pie (actually prepare and freeze now, and then bake on Dec. 24th for my Christmas day contribution to the big in-law family dinner). I have some wonderful homemade raspberry freezer jam. Can I mix some freezer jam into the raspberry pie or will it make the pie too gummy with all the pectin in the jam? If I do add some jam should I thin it a bit? Should I still use the the other pie ingredients, i.e. the sugar and thickener as usual? Is there really no point in adding the jam? I was thinking it would deliciously fill in among the whole berries, even though they collapse. Good idea, or terrible idea?

If you can possibly respond, please do so as soon as possible. I need to get this pie into the freezer. I've already bought the berries. I would be eternally grateful.
Thank you,
Alice Callicott