In my solitude, I have not been idol. This evening, while Ronnie was bowling and the girls were out with friends, I went to pick raspberries with my neighbor, Pat; we each walked away with a bucket full. Now I am back to where I was a few days ago – what to do with all these raspberries. Pat is going to use a freezer jam recipe. I am conflicted on whether to make jam or syrup.
The recipe I decided to use is this one from Epicurious:
- 4 cups (1 liter) granulated sugar
- 4 cups (1 liter) raspberries
Now here I just used 2 cups of sugar to 4 cups of raspberries. In the reviews, others found the 4 cups to be a bit much.
1. Place sugar in an ovenproof shallow pan and warm in a 250°F (120°C) oven for 15 minutes. (Warm sugar dissolves better.)
2. Place berries in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a full boil over high heat, mashing berries with a potato masher as they heat. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
3. Add warm sugar, return to a boil, and boil until mixture will form a gel (see tips, below), about 5 minutes.
4. Ladle into sterilized jars and process as directed for Shorter Time Processing Procedure .
To determine when the mixture will form a gel, use the spoon test: Dip a cool metal spoon into the hot fruit. Immediately lift it out and away from the steam and turn it horizontally. At the beginning of the cooking process, the liquid will drip off in light, syrupy drops. Try again a minute or two later — the drops will be heavier. The jam is done when the drops are very thick and two run together before falling off the spoon.
“The intensity of this jam is due to the fact that it has no added fruit pectin,” says Topp. Adding pectin helps the jam jell, but necessitates more sugar, which dilutes the natural flavor of the fruit. Making jam without added pectin requires more careful cooking (see notes about the spoon test, above), but the extra effort pays off in a deliciously old-fashioned, fruity product.
It was in the comments where someone said that raspberries have natural pectin – in the seeds. That is a claim I’ll need to research. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
*UPDATE* I believe this needs to boil longer and reduce down. Mine is a syrup, which is fine ’cause that is what I was hoping for. Using a sieve, some of the seeds were removed and, in hindsight, more will be removed next time. No worries though – great stuff!