Anyone who has read my blog knows that I'm slightly obsessed with raspberries. They're my favorite fruit -- the one thing that I could never get enough of. So when the weather turned cool and the raspberries came into season in Ohio again, I bought 10 pints and made jam.
These are the cool canning implements that my mother bought me long ago when the kids were little and I lived in Michigan with a canning kitchen in the basement.
First things first, I boiled my clean canning jars.
Don't they look sparkly enough to put jam in?
I loved measuring the five cups of raspberries and pouring them into the bowl. It looked like such a bounty of berries.
We mashed the berries (Grace helped) with the old potato masher. They are much easier to squish than strawberries. The raspberries were practically begging to be pulverized. Grace measured out the 7 cups of sugar into a separate bowl while I started cooking the mashed raspberries with the fruit pectin and stired until it reached a rolling boil. Grace poured the sugar into the pan and I stirred like crazy trying to get it all mixed in.
While I was waiting for this new mixture to boil, I directed Tucker to roll out the dough for the French bread. He kneaded it, separated it into two loaves, and set it out to rise.
When the jam was boiling again, I set the timer for two minutes. The recipe only calls for one minute but my mom's jam is notorious for not jelling, so I cooked it two minutes per her instructions. When it was finished, I ladled it into the clean jars, and then my favorite part, I used the little magnet implement to pick up the boiling lid jars and rings. Once they were in place, I inverted the jars for five minutes before turning them up and voila.
Now, I've done stories on canning before and I know that the USDA calls for boiling the canning jars with the jam inside and that is what I've always done. But the recipe for this jam said it could be done either way, so I saved myself that step. I'm imagining my pharmacy/food expert friend Linda saying the sugar content is so high that it shouldn't be a problem. A lot of times I put the finished jam in the freezer anyway so it keeps its lovely red color.
Today, Grace asked for a French bread and raspberry jam sandwich in her lunch. She thought it was good, and it may last us a few months before I have to buy more at Trader Joe's.
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