Are you overwhelmed by the bounty of summer? Do you buy too much at the weekly farmers market? Or perhaps you are inundated with fresh fruit and vegetables from your CSA box. Knowing how to preserve these seasonal fruits and vegetables before they spoil can save you from wasting food and money.
One easy way to preserve summer fruits is to turn them into delicious, homemade jam. I know what you are thinking: “Jam? But I don’t know how to can!”. Don’t panic. You don’t have to can this jam if you do not want to. I am talking about making small batches of refrigerator jam — no special equipment or expertise required.
Start with two pints of ripe, seasonal berries and you will end up with two or three jars of homemade jam — with no artificial ingredients or preservatives — that you and your family can enjoy for months. Or keep one jar for yourself and give one away. Wouldn’t a jar of homemade jam make an impressive hostess or thank-you gift?
This recipe is for Black Raspberry Jam because I love black raspberries. But you can use this same method with red raspberries, blueberries, or even blackberries. If working with blackberries, however, consider straining out the seeds before pouring the jam into jars.
Depending on where you live, black raspberries may be hard to find. I see them a few times a year at my farmers market, and I cannot resist them.
Black raspberries are the same size and shape as regular raspberries, but instead of bright red, they are purplish black with a white bloom. Also known as blackcaps, black raspberries are prized for their sweet, mild flavor, deep color, and high levels of antioxidants. I hope that if you see black raspberries near you, you will give them a try!
I promised that you did not need any special equipment for this recipe, but do invest in some 8-ounce Mason Jars. You can find them at good supermarkets and hardware stores at this time of year. A dozen jars sells for around $10 or $12. You will only need two to three jars for this recipe, but I am sure you will find plenty of serving and storage uses for the rest.
Begin by sterilizing the jars by pouring boiling water in them, carefully dumping the water out, and then letting the jars dry naturally. Also, make certain that the jars are warm when you fill them with the hot jam or else they might crack. To warm them, you can submerge them in boiling water or heat them in a low oven.
- 2 pints black or red raspberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Chambord or other raspberry liqueur (optional)
- Sterilize and keep warm three 8-oz glass canning jars.
- Place a saucer in the freezer to chill. (You will use this to test whether the jam is done.)
- Place the raspberries in a large deep saucepan and crush with a fork or potato masher. Add the sugar and lemon juice.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
- Turn heat down to medium or medium-high but continue to boil the mixture, stirring constantly. Be careful because the jam will splatter.
- When the jam appears thick and comes off a spoon in a sheet rather than in thin droplets, after about 15 minutes, remove the saucer from the freezer and place a dollop of jam on it.
- Return the saucer to the freezer for one minute.
- Remove the saucer and push the dollop of jam with your finger. If it wrinkles, then the jam is set.
- If using, add the Chambord or other raspberry liqueur to the jam.
- Ladle the jam into the warm jars leaving ¼ inch at the top of jars.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
We hope you enjoy this recipe for Small Batch Black Raspberry Jam from SoFabFood Contributor, Emily Paster from West of the Loop, as much as we do. If you love this recipe, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so that you never miss a single one like it. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest, and stop by our Google+ Community to see all of the amazing recipes our community members are sharing. Enjoy!