Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Raspberry Jam

There's few things I cherish more in this world than spending time with my Grandparents.  They live in my favourite place on earth - Vancouver Island.  I live a full day's commute away from them, which involves a beautiful drive through my favourite highway (93 - Jasper to Banff), the Okanagan (hello fruit and veggie stands!), followed by a 2 hour ferry ride, and another hour's drive to get there.  The journey is nearly as fun as the destination! 

I always try to plan my trip for either late August or early September so that I can capitalize on all of the fresh produce that's available.  Gramps works his magic sourcing good quality, fairly priced produce from local farmers and hobby gardeners, and Gramma arms me with all of the recipe and tips that I need to preserve everything when I get back home.  

One thing I always try to make when I am there is raspberry jam.  This raspberry jam is extra special, because Gramps grows the berries in his garden (and they are amazing!), and Gramma and I make the jam in the kitchen together.  It's the best of both them (and the inspiration behind the tattoo I got on my trip to the Island last summer). 

Recipe makes 8 x 250ml jars

- 5 cups crushed berries, fresh or frozen
- 1 pkg granulated Certo 
- 7 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp butter (optional)

Start by preparing all of your jars and lids.  The jars should be piping hot (pro tip - put them on the rinse cycle of your dishwasher and they will come out the perfect temperature). You can also fill a sink full of extra hot water and immerse the jars while you're preparing the jam. 

Prepare fresh fruit by crushing (a potato masher works great). If fruit is previously frozen and defrosted, it should already be a mashed consistency.  

Measure crushed fruit into a large saucepan 
(measure the fruit once it's crushed, not while it's fresh).

Add Certo to fruit and stir until fully dissolved. 

Over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil.

Add sugar, stirring constantly, until mixture returns to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down.

Boil hard for 1 minute.

Remove from heat, and skim off foam OR add 1 tsp butter to the jam (this will reduce the foam).

Remove jars from dishwasher/sink,  and while the jam is still piping hot, ladle into jars filling to the bottom rim (giving about 1/2 an inch space).  Be sure to dry the rims/lids with paper towel, ensuring that no moisture remains (this will ensure a proper seal). 

Top with lid and rim, and move jam to an area that won't be disturbed for a couple of hours.  It's important not to press down on the lids or disturb the jam before its sealed.

Within a few hours you'll hear the satisfying "pop" of the jars sealing.  If a jar doesn't seal, I put an "x" on the top so that I use it first, being sure to store it in the fridge. 


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