My raspberry bush is currently a mere shadow of its former self. But that will soon change as we move closer to summer. A prime reason for growing raspberries is to make raspberry jam. But unless you have a crap ton of them it is hard to have enough at a time to make jam. So my approach was to grab some gallon ziplock bags and I picked twice a day (every day) until raspberry season was over.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I diligently added them to the ziplock bag until it was full and then started another. There were losses along the way to The Hubby and his smoothies. But all in all I ended up with enough to make one batch of jam. In the spirit of full transparency, using frozen berries is not ideal BUT it does work, and unless you have the afore mentioned sh*t-ton of raspberries, this is your best bet. So let’s begin!
First things first, we need to thaw those frozen berries out. So go ahead and grab a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper. We are going to need 3 3/4 cups of crushed berries which does NOT equal 3 3/4 cups of frozen berries. I found it was about 2:1…so dump about 7 cups of frozen berries onto the cookie sheet. If you are using fresh berries you are going to need less as they will take up less space…I’m guessing about 5 cups. But as they are fresh just crush them a cup at a time until you have the necessary 3 3/4 cups! While you are waiting for berries to thaw, it is the perfect time to sterilize the jars. This recipe will make approximately 8 of the 250ml jars. You have two methods you can use to sterilize them.
But first lets get some warm, soapy water and give them all a rinse. Once that is done you have to decide how you want to sterilize them. You can either put them in boiling water for 10 minutes OR pop them in a 225F oven for 20 minutes. Its up to you. I opted for the oven for the jars (when they were done I turned off the oven and left them in to keep warm) and used boiling water for the rims and lids. One quick note on the canning lids, they are meant to only be used ONCE (who knew?). So its a good thing they are cheap as you will need to buy a lot in your canning career!
Once they start to thaw move them to a bowl (I love my red Kitchen Aid mixing bowls) and grab your potato masher and crush them. This is the point where you realize the difference between a cup of frozen berries and a cup of crushed berries! If you think you will need more now is the time to add a few more. If you don’t like all the seeds you can always run 1/3, 1/2 or all the crushed berries through a food mill. Just keep in mind that also means you will need MORE berries! The Hubby likes seed in his raspberry jam so I skipped this step.
Next you will need to add all the ingredients to your pot. I strongly suggest using a thick bottomed or enamel pot to cook the jam. So go ahead and add the crushed berries, lemon juice and sugar…..all the sugar (it just seems to keep going and then you realize why your mom never wanted you to eat too much jam!). See….this is my mound of sugar…no berries or lemon juice in sight…but they are there at the bottom.
Put the pot on the stove over over high heat and bring to a boil. It doesn’t seem like it now but this is all going to basically turn into molten lava…this sh*t will stick to your skin and BURN! SO be very careful when you are storing it or putting it into jars! Once it starts to melt, keep stirrings you want to make sure that it doesn’t burn on the bottom not he pan. When it comes to a boil, set a timer for one minute. Once the timer goes off, take the pot off the heat and add in the package of liquid pectin. This is a good time to get a large pot of water boiling, it needs to be deep enough so that the sealed jars can fit in and be covered by 1″ of water.
Once the pectin is in you need to keep storing and skimming for 5 minutes. Skimming? Yup! As you stir you will notice that the mixture becomes a bit frothy and this is what you need to remove. It is kind of like a mousse texture (once it cools) and you do NOT want this floating on your beautiful raspberry jam. So just stir and skim out the froth onto a plate….here is a picture of mine…
Once the 5 minutes is up then you are good to go! Get your sterilized jars, rims and lids and carefully fill the jars leaving 1/4″ of air space at the top. Put the lids on and set them aside. Hopefully the water in the large pot is boiling by now, if not then just wait longer. When it boils carefully lower the sealed jars into the water making sure they are covered by the water and process. in the boiling water for 10 minutes. It is very important that. you do not leave. them in any longer or the pectin could be deactivated by the heat, which means running jam and nobody wants that. When the time is up, remove them from the water and listen for those rewarding pops as the lids all seal shut.
Small Batch Raspberry Jam
- 3 3/4 cups crushed raspberries. (approx. 7 cups frozen or 5 cups fresh)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 6 1/2 cups super fine sugar
- 1 package certo liquid pectin
- 8 – 250ml canning jars
Prep the Jars – Oven
- Wash the jars in warm soapy water, rinse and set aside.
- Put the jars into the oven (I lay them on their side)
- Turn the oven on to 225F
- When the oven gets to temperature, set a timer for 20 minutes
- When the timer goes, just turn off the oven and leave the jars in there to stay warm.
Prep the Jars – Boiling
- Wash the jars in warm soapy water, rinse and set aside.
- In a large pop, bring water to a boil
- When boiling, carefully insert the jars using a jar lifter
- Boil for 10 minutes
- Remove from water and set aside
Make the jam
- If you are using frozen berries, then line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and put frozen berries on it to partially thaw (if you let them thaw completely they will lose too much juice)
- Crush berries and remove some of the seeds if you want (I left mine in)
- Using a thick bottomed pan (preferably cast iron) mix crushed berries, lemon juice and sugar and put over high heat to boil.
- Once boiling, cook for 1 minute.
- Turn off the heat and mix in 1 package pectin, stirring for 5 minutes.
- Removing the foam which forms on top by skimming it off
- Place into hot sterilized jars and screw on the lids.
- Return the sealed jars to the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes
- Once complete, remove the jars and set aside to cool. Keep an ear out for the popping noise as they seal.
If any of the jars do not seal, don’t worry all is not lost, just pop them in the fridge and enjoy them first! And that’s it, we have made some small batch raspberry jam!
What is your favourite type of jam?