easy as......jam!

Red Raspberry Jam

When I was a child my mom did a lot of canning. It seemed homey & old-fashioned even then. I remember once when my mom was making strawberry preserves & my friend April came over, she just could not understand why anyone would do this...I of course did not really know why either, but my answer to April was because it looks so pretty & smells so good!
This is still the reason why I make jam on hot summer afternoons when my friends are at the pool sipping lemonade!

I love preserving my own food because I know it is fresh & will not contain preservatives.
I know exactly what is in the jars, because I put it there myself. Plus, preserving is fun & I love to experiment with different combinations of veggies, fruits, spices & herbs.

The secret to easy preserving is to make sure that everything is ready in advance. One of the most important pieces of equipment when making jam is the preserving pot. It should be wide & heavy with a thick bottom so that the heat will distribute evenly. This will help prevent scorching in foods that contain a lot of sugar. Another important factor is to make sure the pot is large enough so that the food will not over flow when it bubbles up the sides. Fruit & sugar mixtures usually expand considerably during rapid boiling causing the juice & foam to rise amazingly high. You do not want to be cleaning boiled over jam off the top of your stove or counter top. A good rule of thumb is to use a pot that is three times the volume of your food, somewhere around 8 to 10 quarts should be fine. Stainless steel or enamel lined cast iron pots are also recommended, as copper, aluminum, galvanized or unlined cast iron pots can react with acids that are naturally found in foods & this can cause unpleasant flavors & coloring.

There are not a lot of things easier (or more fun) than making jam!

Prepare your preserving jars & lids.

red raspberry jam
4 cups raspberries
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Raspberries are fragile so handle with care!
Keep them refrigerated & use as soon as possible making sure to check for mold.

Gently rinse in cool water & drain the berries.
In your preserving pot, crush the raspberries gently with a potato masher.

Add the sugar & let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Bring the raspberries & sugar to a boil over medium high heat & stir in the lemon juice.
Boil rapidly, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken,
this should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
To test for doneness the mixture should register 220* on a candy thermometer.
Remove pot from heat, give a quick stir & skim off any foam.

Pour the hot jam into hot sterilized jars making sure to leave a 1/4 inch headspace.
Wipe the rims clean & seal jars according to manufacturer's directions.
Process the jars of jam in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat, remove the lid from the pot & let jars sit for about 5 minutes to stabilize
before removing from water bath.



  1. I have had this jam, and yeah it jams,best I've ever had,and not just saying that, personally liked the blueberry better but hey that's just me, blueberry blueberry blueberry

  2. Anonymous8/10/2009

    oh sweet sweet!! Your jams are sooo lovely!!

    Please same me a jar or two!!

    Everything you make is always so amazing!!


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