Raspberry jam is quite easy to make. The secret is to make a small amount at a time. This is much quicker and safer, since the saucepan of boiling jam is lighter and easier to handle. This makes a couple of jars of jam, but you can make just one jar at a time.
cooking thermometer (optional)
two pound jam jars with lids
heat raspberries to correct temperature
- If you pick your own raspberries, they need .
- You need to sterilise the jam jars. Wash them in fairly hot water, then fill them with hot (but not boiling) water. Glass will break if you suddenly put too hot water (or jam) in it, but the warm water helps to raise its temperature which makes it safer. Make sure the lids are immersed in hot water as well.
- Put the raspberries and sugar in the saucepan and heat them while stirring to stop them burning. (You may prefer to put the raspberries in first to heat a little until the juices start to flow, or even add a little water). Heat until there is quite a bit of juice, and all the sugar is dissolved.
- If you have a cooking thermometer (see picture), cook the mixture until it reaches . This is just over the boiling point of water. You will find that the temperature stays the same for ages, while the water gets boiled off, then the temperature suddenly starts rising, so keep as eye on it! If you don't have a thermometer, then watch the mixture cooking. While there is steam, it is still below boiling point of water. Once the steam disappears, the mixture boils in a different way, and it becomes thicker. If you stop the cooking too soon, you will get a preserve - sloppy and apt to drip off bread, but delicious! If you cook it too long, you get raspberry toffee, which is still nice to eat.
- Empty the jam jars of their hot water and carefully pour the jam into the jam jars. Since the jam jars will be hot from the water, they shouldn't mind the hot jam. The jam will be hotter than boiling water, and will stick to you if you're silly enough to pour it on yourself, so be careful! I tend to do all this in the sink, so if it slops over the edge of the jar, it can easily be washed away. Now screw on the tops (remember that everything will be quite hot!).
- Some people put circles of paper on top of the jam. This is to stop mould. This jam has a fair amount of sugar in it, which helps to preserve it, and anyway, it's so nice that you'll probably eat it quite quickly!
© Jo Edkins 2008 -