Today I wanted to share with you the batch of Raspberry-Blueberry Jam (or “Razzbluey” as my hubs calls it!) that I made this week. I bought a flat of raspberries at the farmers market last week but didnt take the time to look at it properly before I took it home, and I realized later that day that more than half the berries were bad. The ones on top looked fine, but underneath many were rotten. I was pretty bummed, but figured I could salvage the good stuff and make a batch of jam.
But then I realized there wasnt even enough (4 cups) for a batch of jam, so I thought, “wouldnt those blueberries in the fridge make a fantastic jam with these raspberries?” And I was right, they did!
I have been trying to make most of my jams sugar-free, because I prefer to preserve my summer harvest in a way that is more nutritionally sound for my family and friends to enjoy (I say friends because guess what people are getting for Christmas this year??!!). With this batch, however, I did not have an appropriate fruit juice to use and I was also out of the sugar-free pectin, so I decided to make this batch “conventional.” I figured it would be a treat for the hubs who prefers sugary jam and a nice gift for people at Christmastime.
It is very important if you decide to do any canning, as I have done here, to read up on proper canning procedures, for sanitation and safety. With that in mind, here is the recipe:
2 cups crushed raspberries
2 cups crushed blueberries
2 Tblspns. lemon juice
5 cups sugar (yikes! see why I dont usually make regular jam!?)
1 box Certo pectin (this isnt an advertisement, just the kind I used if you’re curious)
1. Crush the raspberries, one layer at a time, with a potato masher until nice and smashed. Make sure you have 2 cups raspberries smashed, not two cups of whole raspberries. It takes probably close to 3 cups of whole raspberries to get 2 smashed, if you know what i mean.
2. If your blueberries are nice and fresh like mine were, you’ll want to put them in your food processor and pulse them justa few times until they are smashed up, but DO NOT turn the processor on full speed even for a few seconds or your berries will be puree and thats not what you want. You want them mashed but not liquidy (see photo above).
3. In a very large either stainless steel or enamel pot (don’t use aluminum), put your mashed berries, along with your lemon juice and the fruit pectin. Stir well to make sure they all come together nicely. Bring this mixture to a boil on high heat. You need to babysit jam and can’t walk away or be distracted, so make sure you do this when you have a few minutes’ full attention available. Stir the jam constantly.
4. Once brought to a boil, add your sugar and stir in completely. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture back up to a boil, and boil hard for one minute.
5. Remove kettle from the stove top and continue to stir and skim for five minutes (this helps prevent floating fruit, apparently).
6. Ladle your jam into hot, sterilized jars. Make sure the rims of the jars are clean, using a damp paper towel or lint-free cloth to wipe them off before adding your sterilized lid. Once the lid is on, screw on your rim.
7. Hot-packed jam like this needs to be boiled in a water bath canner for 10 minutes to prevent any sort of bacteria from growing inside your jars while they sit prettily in your cupboards until cold weather. Do not skip this step, ladies… I know a lot of the old school don’t boil jams and pickles but it’s important; you dont want to take a chance at making your family sick.
8. Once processed, remove from water bath and allow the jars to cool, completely undisturbed, for 48 hours on a flat surface. At this point be sure to label your jars (easy to get them confused if you’re making lots of batches!) and store in a cool, dry, dark place (a basement or root cellar is ideal, but as we dont have that I keep them in a dark cupboard in our dining room).