We are going to try and write some blogs from time to time, even though, to be totally honest, we don't have a lot of time to do so. Still, we're going to try because our life is pretty cool, and we would like to share a little of it with you. Here's a recipe from our garden and its most prolific crop: raspberries
We like to harvest our raspberries and keep them frozen until we've gathered enough for a big batch. Our garden produces gallons of berries each summer, so working in large batches makes sense for us. If you're making jam out of a few pints that you picked up at a farmers market, this method works for you as well. We always follow the fruit to sugar ratios found in our packets of pectin. (No, Pomona's Pectin did not pay us to promote them, but we do like their brand the best.)
After you've gathered up your sugar and pectin, start mashing up your berries. Measure your mashed fruit and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, mix your sugar and pectin together. This will prevent clumps of pectin to form in your jam.
We used to boil our jars for sterilizing, but now we prefer to use the oven. Just set the temperature to 250 and bake them for 20 minutes. Pop those bad boys in while you're taking care of the jam on the stove. Additionally, bring a small pot of water to a gentle boil, and simmer the jar rings and lids to make sure they're good and sterilized, too.
Once your fruit has come to a boil, add the sugar/pectin, and lemon juice if you prefer, and once again bring to a gentle but steady boil. Generally, it takes about 5 minutes of simmering jam for the pectin to work its gelling magic. An excellent way to test if your jam has set is the "frozen spoon method." Keep a metal spoon in the freezer on a small plate and use it to take a sample of jam. Set the cold spoon and little bit of jam in the freezer for a few minutes, then pull it out and see if the little sample has thickened enough that it doesn't slide off the spoon. If it's still runny, keep boiling your jam until the spoon test proves a gelled jam.
Ladle your raspberry goodness into hot jars, use a clean rag to wipe off any drips along the jar ridge, and screw on the lids. Within 24 hours all of your cooled jars will make little popping noises, signaling a successful seal of the lid. Store in a dark cupboard and enjoy your preserved taste of summer all throughout winter.