Portion/Yield:Makes 2 large jars of 450g each or 4 smaller jars about 225g each
I have a passion for growing my own fruit and vegetables. After moving several times and in the mean time living at the pub in Suffolk the opportunity has not always been there for me to grow my own. I have found wonderful pick your own farms in the vicinity and resort to those to pick the seasons best.
As I like making bread I find making jams and preserves just as satisfying and therapeutic.
For this raspberry jam I have chosen the variety Glen Prosen raspberries and I have also used jam sugar. You find jam sugar in most supermarkets, it contains pectin which will help your jams to set successfully.
Ingredients & Method
- 600g fresh raspberries
- 600g jam sugar
Place the raspberries and sugar in an airtight container, cover and refrigerate over night. The raspberries would have started to bleed and the sugar to dissolve.
The following day scrape the raspberries and sugar in to a heavy base saucepan, place over medium heat. Gently melt the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up and bring to a vigorous boil.
Wash the edges of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in hot water; this will prevent the jam from crystallising. Only stir a couple of times the jam while it is boiling, continuous stirring will encourage crystallisation however do not let your jam catch/ burn.
Boil the jam for about 10 -12 minutes, temperature 104°C – 107°C; this is the ideal setting point for the jam.
When you reach the correct temperature remove the jam from the heat.
Have your jam jars ready, cleaned and sterilised, as it is important to decant the hot jam as soon as possible.
Cool the jam jars, clean and label them.
Crystallisation of Jam: It’s pretty annoying when this happens. Normally it’s only visual once the jam has cooled down completely. I have three simply preventable reasons why crystallisation could happen.
- One is if the sugar and fruit start to boil before all the “raw” sugar crystals have dissolved.
- Two is once the sugar has dissolved and the jam reached the vigorous boiling stage you did not wash the edges with a pastry brush dipped in hot water. As the “raw” sugar crystals get stuck to the edge of the pan and falls back in to the boiling syrup,the larger un-dissolved crystals accumulate molecules and this encourages the growth of large crystals know as crystallisation.
- Third is that you should not stir boiling jam or sugar syrup for that matter too much. If you continuously stir the boiling syrup it knocks the sugar crystals together and encourages the formation of larger crystals and crystallisation sets in once cooled.
Sterilising the jars: This is one of the most crucial tasks that you should never cut corners . If you not do this properly you might find your jam becomes mouldy and ferments sooner than expected. Preheat the oven to 100°C. Wash the jars in hot soapy water; do not dry them with a tea towel. Place the damp jars and lids on a clean baking tray; try not to touch the jars and lids on the insides. Place them in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Let the jars cool slightly before you scoop in the jam.
Other pointers are -never pour cold liquid in to hot glass jars, you will end up with broken glass, – take extra care when sterilising the jars, as if they are overheated they might explode.