feasting with friends

Raspberry Jam Duo

rasp10I think it was about 5 years ago that we planted raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. The blueberries didn’t even survive after year one. Deer, maybe? The raspberry and blackberry bushes on the other hand, have thrived.

Each year they have produced more fruit than previous years. My favorite, the golden raspberry plant, produced plenty of fruit for munching in previous years… but not more beyond that.

Until this year… until the extreme heat of 2016. Hello golden delicious beauties!

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Our plants are grown on the outside of the pool fence. This allows not only support for the plants, but handy snacking nearby when swimming! Once the berries hit maturity, Glenn and I can’t help but eat a few (or a few dozen) right off the plant. As usual, when anything goes in our mouths…the dogs are interested… especially George (aka Curious George)!

Well, the first time this happened, I picked a few berries for myself and gave George one. Picked myself a few… George got one. Repeat, repeat, repeat. And then…something amazing happened…

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George began picking his own! Yep, right off the plant, Lol. And if he “picked” one that wasn’t ripened? He spit it out on the concrete. Within minutes, the other two dogs joined in… at times, we could only see 3 furry rear ends peeking out from the plants.

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Okay…I’m done oohing and aahing over my furry friends…on to the fruit. Just look at these beautiful berries!

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It always amazes me that those   ↑    can become that    ↓   …

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Even though I’ve made many jams in the past, this happened to be my first outing in making raspberry jam. After some research and equal decision making duties with Glenn, we decided to make (well, I would do the actually “making”) Golden Raspberry & Pear Jam and Red Raspberry & Plum Jam.

The verdict?? Glenn has proclaimed the Red Raspberry Plum Jam the BEST I’ve ever made! And, because we agree it’s okay to disagree, I proclaim the Golden Raspberry Pear Jam the best I ever made! (Lol…at least I know all the jam will get eaten!)

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I know there’s controversy in jam making when it comes to pectin or no pectin, full amount of sugar to no added sugar, freezer jam to cooked jam and I’ve tried a lot of variations of those methods over the years. I went with the old-fashioned cooked jam using pectin and full sugar this time. Mainly because I really (really, really) wanted a fool proof guarantee that the jam would set perfectly.

Additionally, neither Glenn nor I eat these jams on a daily basis…it’s more of a weekend thing, when we have a larger breakfast. Neither one of us is on a sugar restricted diet either. In short, as long as we don’t overindulge…it’s okay to for a occasional indulgence!

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The jam recipes follow… the recipe for the biscuits you see in the top photo will be the next recipe I’ll be sharing at feasting with friends. Stay tuned… 🙂

Note: A great website for home canning safety guidelines is the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Raspberry Jam

  • Servings: 10 half pint jars
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Note: Please follow all canning guidelines when preparing your homemade jams. The cooked jam recipe that follows is “hot packed” in hot, sterilized jars. Jar lids and rings are hot and sterilized in boiling water. Filled jars are processed in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes to properly seal. Never take chances…always Can with Care! 

Ingredients for Red Raspberry Plum Jam:
4 cups Red Raspberries (about 2 pints)
4 cups peeled and diced plums (about 8 plums) any variety (I used red and black)
1 box Sure-Jell fruit pectin
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
7 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon butter

Ingredients for Golden Raspberry Pear Jam:
4 cups Golden Raspberries (about 2 pints)
4 cups peeled and diced pears (about 4 pears) any variety (I used Bosc)
1 box Sure-Jell fruit pectin
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
7 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon butter

Note: I highly recommend tossing the diced pears in a bit of Fruit Fresh (sold in canning aisle of store) to prevent browning…it will happen quickly!

Directions:
Wash jars in hot, soapy water or run through a dishwasher cycle.

Bring canning pot, half-full with water, to a low boil. Place the sterilized jars into the canner to stay hot while jam is prepared.

Wash jar lids and screw bands in hot, soapy water; rinse with warm water.  Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat.  Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before using.

Prepare fruit: For berries, crush about 1 cup at a time. I use a potato masher but a food processor can be used. Just be careful to not puree, as jam should have bits of fruit. For plums or pears, dice the fruit and mash or use food processor to break down.

Measure exact amount of prepared fruit into 6- or 8-quart  pot.

Measure exact amount of sugar into separate bowl.  (Reducing sugar or using sugar substitutes will result in set failures.)

Stir 1 box of Sure-Jell pectin and the lemon juice into the prepared fruit pot.  Add 1/2 teaspoon butter to reduce foaming.

Bring fruit mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.

Stir in sugar quickly.  Return to full rolling boil (bubbling doesn’t stop when stirred) and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Skim off any foam, as desired.

Ladle jam into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops.

Wipe jar rims and threads of any jam. Cover with flat lid and screw on band (do not over tighten).

Place jars on elevated rack (or a towel) in canning pot.

Lower the rack into canner.  Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches; add boiling water if needed.

Cover and bring water to a boil. Process jams 10 minutes.  Remove jars and place about 2 inches apart on a towel to cool completely. (It’s perfectly normal to hear a “popping” sound from the jars as they’re removed from the water. This is the sealing of the jars.)

After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. Note:  If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary or you can try to process again. If processing for a second time, remove lid and band to completely wipe jar free of any jam residue. Rinse lid/band with boiling water. Place lid/band back on jar and re-process jar for 10 minutes.

Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Tighten bands and clean jars of any residue or stickiness. Store unopened jams in cool, dry, dark place up to 1 year. Refrigerate opened jams up to 3 weeks.

Original feasting with friends recipe with the help from here, here, and here.

26 comments

  1. I don’t quite get the pectin controversy either, Nancy. Depending upon the jam, I’ll use it and have always been happy with the results. How great to have both golden and red raspberries right within reach of your berry eating dogs! Ha! That cracked me up. Love the additions of pears and plums to the basic recipes. How can you restrict yourselves to weekends only? I could never — and that’s why I’m not making any jam this year. 🙂

    • To each their own, I suppose, John. I, for one, will continue to use pectin when dealing with ultra juicy fruit. I’m happy to share the berries with our dogs, as long as they leave me enough to make the jam and such…which they did, so I’m keeping them for now. 😉 Thanks for visiting!

  2. Pingback: Buttermilk Biscuits | feasting with friends

    • Thank you so much, Sonal! I thought the jams were rather pretty too. It’s good to see you…hope you enjoyed your time with friends and family in India!

  3. Lovely, lovely Nancy. What a treat that had to be to pick your own berries and create the jams you have. There’s nothing quite like home made jam, and yours look pretty darn delicious 🙂 I love the golden variety, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one that color. Your doggies are just precious, how clever they are helping themselves, after they saw you do the same.

    • Thank you for your kind comment, Loretta. The berries are a joy to grow…the jam is fun to make…and the final rewards to eat are simply delicious. I absolutely love this time of year when our garden has so much to offer! As for the dogs…it kind of became a game of monkey see, monkey do. 😉

  4. It was just a pleasure reading your post and looking at the beautiful pictures, Nancy! I am always amazed by being able to grow and pick your own berries because they don’t grow here, at least in the part of Arizona where I live. We have tried. The colors of the berries are so pretty. What creative flavors of jam, too. I can’t imagine how satisfying that would be to grow your own berries and then make your own jam. I would love that! Thanks for sharing the pictures and the recipes (fun hearing about your dogs, too)! 🙂

    • Thank you for the thoughtful and sweet comment, Shari. ☺️ It always surprises me that certain plants won’t grow in one zone or another of the country. What I’ve come to learn from our master gardner friend, Aunt Juju, is it has more to do with the soil available than our green thumbs. Our raspberry plants will yield a fall crop, as well. I’m hoping it’s just as good as the summer one. Thanks for visiting…hope you have a great week!

  5. LOL – great picture of your dogs. Be careful they don’t eat too much fruit, if you know what I mean 🙂 I tried to grow blueberries twice in my last two homes and the soil is too alkaline, even tried adding sulfur. They need an acidic soil and cold, cold winters. That’s why they do so well in the southwestern part of the state. Love homemade jam and I probably would favor???

    • Oh, I know what you mean! We ended up locking them out of the pool area. 😉 Thanks for sharing the blueberry plant information, it’s a relief to know it wasn’t my fault, or lack of care. Now I’m just waiting for the blackberries to fully ripen so I can get that jam made too. I’m loving the quality of fruit this summer is offering! Thanks so much, Judi.

  6. Those raspberry bushes are amazing!! Love the photo’s of the pups eating the berries right off the bush, how wonderful!! Every year I make jam but this year I haven’t next weekend I will hope I’m not too late and to get the berries from the farmers market. I need to get cracking your jam looks amazing and the combination of fruits are fantastic.

    • Thank you, Suzanne. With the intense heat this year, I’m sure the berries were a thirst quencher for the dogs…hence their enthusiastic picking! I hope you’re able to get some berries at the market for jam making…though it does take a few hours to make a batch, it does provide a nice treat in the cold, dark months of winter.

    • Hah….don’t be jealous…make your own! I know you can do it. 🙂 The rewards of summer berry flavors in the middle of a dark dreary winter are worth the effort. Thanks for visiting, Josette, hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

  7. Wow, both of these jams look so scrumptious! My husband loves homemade jam, but I don’t make it – we rely on my mom’s jam… I will have to give her your recipes! ( cheeky of me!) And I think it is so amazing that your dogs eat the berries too – how smart! 😀 Thanks so much for sharing these with us, Nancy!

    • It’s my pleasure to share, Julianna! Hah, very sneaky of you to pass along the recipes to mom…hope she gives them a try, as the rewards would be one very happy son in law! 😉 Thanks for visiting.

  8. How great it is to have fresh raspberries right at the pool! And such cute, smart dogs – they know what’s best! 🙂
    Both jams look perfect! I love the pear and plum additions to the raspberries.
    I’m with you with the all sugar/pectin. I’ve made jams with less sugar, but they don’t keep well. And pectin is all-natural, so I’m not sure why people oppose it so much.

    • Isn’t that funny…I was at your “house” drooling over your focaccia, while you were over here!! 😀

      All I can say is after what I feel is perfect results, I’ll keep using the pectin. it never lets me down in product or shelf life of the jams. Smart pooches indeed…thankfully they haven’t discovered the blackberries yet! Thanks so much for visiting Ronit.

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