Monday, July 15, 2013

Black Raspberry Jam

It's my favorite. And we are lucky to have wild ones grow on our place. Not too many, some years don't produce enough to make the process worthwhile, but this was a good year. An evening stroll around the grounds would yield a small container, kept in the fridge until I had enough to continue the process.

Step 2 is removing the seeds. Raspberry seeds are too crunchy for most folk. I do this with a Squeezo Strainer, a tool I highly recommend. You place cooked fruit in the hopper, turn the crank and the good stuff flows down the chute and the seeds and stems are expelled out the end of the sieve.  Three sieves are available for different uses. Terrific for applesauce, no need to pare or core the apples.

I got mine from my mother. I'm just a little surprised she allowed herself to have a tool this fancy. Must have been after we'd left home and most the bills were paid. Or maybe Dad gave it to her for Christmas. I'll bet that was it.

Step 3 is adding the sugar and some gelling agent. I like using low methoxyl pectin because it doesn't require a lot of sugar to be activated.  It allows me to leave it a little tart.

Step 4 is canning - just 15 minutes in a hot water bath. Then you set them out on the counter and listen for the "pop" as they cool and the lids seal.

I made my favorite bread, James Beard's Oatmeal bread, to go with it and I am a happy camper.

The jam can also be used for making Peach Melba. This is an easy to make late summer peach season dessert that is fit for royalty.