Thursday, August 25, 2011

Raspberry Jam

We are not a jam-loving family. We would be lucky to finish one jar of jam every 6 months. This year, I challenged myself to make jams for the Year 7 Gourmet Food stall at the school's spring fair. I figured, it shouldn't be too difficult. As usual, before I started, I search on Google (my dear friend) for recipes. I also looked for instructions on how to sterilise the jars (I had 4 jars to fill). I found an easy to follow recipe on the CSR sugar website - which also had a step by step pictorial guide - great for jam making novices like me. When I told one of the mums at school I was making jams, she suggested that I use raspberries instead of strawberries. Hang on, I thought strawberry jams will be more popular. She sent me an email to explain how jam sets. It was a long email detailing fruits had different levels of pectin and jam is set by a combination of pectin and sugar. So, if the jam is not setting, could be due to the pectin content in the fruit being too low. To cut a long story short, she suggested I use raspberries instead of strawberries, frozen ones work too. Sweeeet!

Bought the ingredients - raspberries, jam setting sugar and butter - so I was set (pun intended!). I was a little nervous before I started the process, and had to read the instructions several times to make sure I could do it (what a idiot!). Anyhoo... I made the jam and sterilise the jars. Four jars of raspberry jam are sitting pretty on my kitchen benchtop, waiting to be dropped off at school tomorrow. Pretty pleased with myself.

Surprise, surprise... it didn't taste that bad. I would actually buy a jar myself. Chris said it was good.. high praise from hubby, then he made a comment that I should have made scones to go with them.
For future reference, here's the recipe:

1kg raspberries
1kg CSR Jam Setting Sugar
1 knob of butter (10gm)
  1. Place the raspberries into a deep heavy based stockpot (about 6 litres). 
  2. Crush fruits coarsely with a potato masher or blender (hand held works!)
  3. Heat the mixture over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Do not allow to boil.
  4. Add a knob of butter then increase heat, bring to a full rolling boil (that is a boil that cannot be stirred down).
  5. Boil for 4 minutes only. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
  6. Test for set (push finger gently through a small amount on a cold plate to check that the surface wrinkles. Do not remove jam from heat until this has been achieved (note to self: put a plate in the fridge to chill before making the jam).
  7. Bottle in pre-sterilised jars.
Remember: hot jams in hot jars.

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