I made black raspberry jam this past weekend! Here’s the story: I have a love/hate relationship with the wild black raspberries that grow on my property. They have pretty much taken over along the boarder between the lawn and the wooded area. Love because the tiny black berries are so delicious, hate because the thorny wild berries take over and prick and poke you. So over the weekend I found I had more than enough to make pie for my 4th of July party I attended, and still enough leftover to make jam. Which in the past, I was intimated to do. I had watched my mother make it as a child (and helped) but it was something I never thought I would do. I found a recipe that only includes sugar (no pectin). I used the wild black raspberries, however any type of raspberry/blackberry/gooseberry would work for this recipe. In truth-the entire process from picking to jam took about two hours. Totally worth it in my book.
The tiny berries pack a punch, they are good right off the vine, but their true flavor isn’t realized until they are heated up.
4 cups black raspberries
4 cups white granulated sugar
You’ll need jars for canning them in. I suggest that you first sterilize the jars in boiling water for twenty minutes and then make the jam.
What to do:
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 .
Tip: To make a small boiling-water canner, tie several screw bands together with string or use a small round cake rack in the bottom of a large covered Dutch oven. Be sure the pan is high enough for 2 inches (5 cm) of water to cover the jars when they are sitting on the rack.
• 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.
May I suggest serving it with your cheese platter? I spread some with a bit of brie last night and it was fabulous. I hope everyone had a nice July 4th weekend!