For the past few months I’ve been having the urge to make jam, and now that summer fruits are in season I can scratch that itch. My first attempt was a batch of strawberry jam that didn’t set up right (but was nonetheless delicious stirred into Greek yogurt), but this time around, to use up a load of raspberries I got on sale, I used a different pectin and technique and think I got it down.
I’ve been making freezer jam for now because it requires very little cooking, letting the flavor of the fruit come through more, and requires less sugar, resulting in a jam that is infinitely tastier than what’s available at the grocery store (and more cost-effective, too). I’d like to eventually work my way up to water bath canning once I have the right equipment, but for now making freezer jam allows me to preserve the jam so I can enjoy it in the winter months, when produce isn’t nearly as tasty. Now that I have all this jam to eat, I’d better learn to make bread to go with it.
Raspberry freezer jam
Tweaked from the back of the package of pectin I used
- 24 ounces fresh raspberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1.75-ounce package instant pectin*
Mash the raspberries with a potato masher (you want a little bit of texture to the jam, so it’s best not to puree them). Stir in the sugar and let it sit for 10 minutes; the sugar should be mostly dissolved by this point. Stir in the instant pectin. Pour the jam into a pot and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook the jam until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon–with the pectin, this should happen within a few minutes. Turn off the heat and ladle the jam into clean pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace to allow for expansion in the freezer. Seal the jars with lids and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. At this point, store the jam in the refrigerator or the freezer. It will keep in the fridge for three weeks, and in the freezer for up to a year.
Yield: about 3 pint jars.
* Note that jam-making is a pretty exact science: if you don’t use the correct ratio of fruit to sugar to pectin, it’s not going to set up right. I used instant pectin for this batch because it called for less sugar than regular pectin. But whichever kind you use, make sure to follow the recipe on the box pretty exactly.