Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE black raspberries. Maybe it’s because you can only get them for two weeks out of the year, but when those two weeks come around I will just buy pint after pint and eat until I can’t eat any more! This year I decided that I wanted to try and prolong the happiness. I found a recipe online for black raspberry jam, courtesy of www.foodinjars.com. Incidentally, they also pointed me to a great local pick-your-own berry farm, Shenk Berry Farm. I got the enjoyment of picking my own fresh raspberries (getting them quite a bit cheaper than in any market or roadside stand I might add) and they were delicious.
Surprisingly, the recipe to make the jam was fairly simple. This was my first attempt at any sort of jam or jelly. Aside from a blazing hot kitchen (no central air here!) it went very smoothly.
- 6 cups mashed black raspberries (4 pints, about three pounds)
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons powdered pectin
- Prep 3 pint jars or 6 half pint jars.
- Combine mashed berries, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a large pot (a wide pot is best).
- Bring to a boil, stirring regularly.
- Skim the foam that develops.
- When the jam has thickened a bit and the boil can’t be stirred down, sprinkle in the pectin and stir to combine.
- Cook for an additional 5-8 minutes, until the jam seems quite thick.
- When the jam has thickened to your liking, remove from heat.
- Ladle into jars, wipe rims, apply lids, and process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes.
- When time is up, remove jars from canner and let cool on a folded kitchen towel.
- When jars are cool enough to touch, remove rings and test seals.
- Jam is ready to eat as soon as it is cooled but can also be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
- The taste was very good! I was worried that this was a lot of sugar, but I guess the lemon juice sort of balances it out. Plus, you’re not going to sit and eat jam with a spoon, it’ll be spread over whatever you’re putting it on.
- You definitely want a big pot that leaves a lot of room. Once the berries are boiling and start to thicken, it gets very spattery. The deeper and wider the pot, the better.
- There are a ton of sites online that you can find instructions on “how to can” – the basics: wash the jars and lids in soapy water, then boil jars for ten minutes and keep in hot water until used. Put lids in a pan of hot not quite boiled water for five minutes and use the lid lifter wand to pull them out.