Monday, March 28, 2011

Make-it-from-Scratch Monday: Raspberry Jam

Whew! It's been quite a few hectic days around here at Chez QT! I've been putting still more stuff up on Etsy, so check out the link at right and spread the word- I'd love to get this thing really going and sell a lot of vintage goodies!

I've also been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I just realized that with warmer weather approaching (eventually!) I need to empty my freezer of all the roasts and cold weather-type things. So it may surprise you to note that this week's cooking feature is a most un-seasonable raspberry jam.

But there's a story in this (as always). I sometimes shop at a local discount grocery, the type that sells dented cans and opened cases of this and that. They often get the castoffs from the big grocery stores around here, and sometimes the bargains really can't be beat, as long as you're willing to do a little work.

Case in point- a few weeks ago they had 1 pound boxes of California raspberries at 50 cents a piece. Yes, you read that correctly- they usually run about $4.99. Problem was, they were starting to turn moldy. But I scooped up about 6 pounds of the best boxes. Once I went through them, there were very few berries that were completely unsalvageable, and the rest went into the freezer for this project.

Sometimes when I make jam I do not have enough of one kind of berries (5 pounds of anything out of season can be $$) so I make a mixed batch with some strawberries, blueberries and cherries- the recipe is the same.

I also really like the Ball No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin, because I do not have to add copius amounts of sugar to get it to jell. I follow a diabetic diet, so I love anything that does not require additional sugar. But if you like you could add some sugar- I would say no more than 1 cup would yield a sweeter jam.

Raspberry Jam


about 5 pounds raspberries, crushed (about 8 cups)
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 package Ball No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin
0 to 1 c. sugar according to your taste.

6 to 8 pint canning jars, bands and lids, sterilized and hot. I run my jars and bands through the dishwasher, at the same time my canner is heating up. I keep the clean lids in a cup of hot water I take out of the canner.

First, bring 2-3 gallons of water in your canner to a boil. This may take as long as an hour.

Meanwhile prepare the jam.

Crush the berries gently with a potato masher (I am using an antique wooden potato masher- it is a great tool for this job) in a large saucepan. Don't use a food processor or blender, as it breaks down the natural sugars in the berries and your jam will not set.

Add one cup of unsweetened apple juice and the package of fruit pectin and bring to a rolling boil.

Once the mixture is boiling begin to stir it continuously for 3 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and fill hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headroom.

Place lids and bands in place and tighten gently- just finger tight.

Place filled jars in the boiling water canner, making sure there is at least 2 inches of water covering them.

Boil for 10 minutes.  

Remove jars and place them on a cutting board or towel (not a cold counter top, or you risk some serious breakage!). Listen for the seals to pop. Allow the jam to stand at least 24 hours to set. (This is the hardest part! :)


  1. Yummy! The Sgt cans and I'm looking forward to learning this Summer. Jam looks like an easy recipe for me to start with.

    There's just something special about opening a canning jar of something from that past Summer's garden in the middle of a cold Winter.

    Yay for Spring!


  2. This is the kind of deal I love! Yes it's some work but so worth it.

    I'm starting to empty my freezer as well!

  3. Oh, yum! It looks beautiful, and I bet it's delicious.

  4. Homemade raspberry jam!! One of the few sweet things I CANNOT resist!!! Looks sooo delish!

  5. ooohhh yum. There is nothing like the taste of homemade jam, i tend to do mine at christmas. enjoy it dee x

  6. That looks so good! I like low/no sugar stuff too so that will be a great one to try. Thanks!

  7. Thanks all- it was so hard to wait 24 hrs before we opened the first jar!

    Mary D- it is so easy once you get the hang of it. Lucky you to have a Sgt. there to show you how! That will be so much fun for the 2 of you, and I bet you have wild raspberries (or blueberries?)growing near his house.

    Shannon- the no sugar needed pectin is a great product- the berries have plenty of natural sugar in them!

  8. Thanks, I didn't know about the no sugar pectin. I will definitely be trying that.

  9. Hey! I saw your blog on thevintagge team at etsy! Great blog. I started one two days ago. Take a look. I have also joined your blog. Can't wait to try this recipe!