Well, raspberry blueberry jam, technically. You see, along with several raspberry bushes, 4 apple trees and a pear tree, we’ve got a small and an extra small blueberry bush on our property. Since we didn’t gather enough blueberries to make a separate batch of jam, I just kind of threw them in with the raspberries, and the results were fabulous!
Technically, this was my second run at making homemade jam. Last year I tried dandelion jam, but I didn’t do the powdered pectin right (pectin helps to thicken the jam and reduce cooking time) and we ended up with dandelion lemonade-y type of stuff. 🙁
I was a little afraid to try again, but I just couldn’t let all of that precious fruit go to waste! So I got out my trusty Ball Home Canning and Preserving Book and got to work.
Now, first, I need to tell you that the instructions for jam vs. jelly are a bit different. If you don’t like seeds in your jam, you’ll want to make jelly. The process is relatively the same, but for jelly you use just the juice from the fruit instead of the whole fruit.
The instructions to get the juice out of fruits in my canning book sounded too tedious for my lazy arse, so luckily, I got a great tip from my homesteading neighbor. She picks all of her berries and stores them in freezer bags in the freezer until picking season is done. Then, she takes the bags out of the freezer and lets them thaw on the counter in a bowl, and the juice automatically separates from the fruit. Genius!!
Okay, on to jam making instructions.
5 cups of crushed raspberries
1 package 1.75 ounce powdered pectin
7 cups granulated sugar
6-7 eight-ounce canning jars
a hot water bath canner
Since we wanted to have the fruit remain in the jam, we left it all in the bag, and once the fruit thaws out you:
1. Crush the berries. Just use your hands and mush the bag around until all of the whole fruit is broken up.
2. Cook the fruit. Place the fruit into a large stainless steel pot, add your powdered pectin, whisking until pectin is dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.
3. Add sugar all at once (we had pre-measured it into a big bowl) and return fruit to a full, rolling boil, stirring constantly. Once it’s at a full boil, keep it boiling hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam (which is might good to eat, I might add. 🙂 )
4. Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. (we leave them in the hot water canner until we’re just about ready to use them, taking them out just about 2 minutes before the jam is ready so that they stay quite warm. Remove air bubble (by stirring gently) and add more jam if needed to reach 1/4 in. headspace. Wipe the rims clean with a clean cloth dipped in hot water and wrung out, in order to remove any jam residue from the edges. Center the lid onto the jar, and screw the band down until it’s fingertip tight. **Note: we have a canning set that is awesome for making canning SO much easier. It has all the tools you need to take your cans, lids and bands in and out of the hot water.
5. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water (I usually go an inch or so above the tops of the lids). Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remover canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store – after you’ve checked the seal. You can check the seal by removing the bands and lifting the jar up by the lid with your fingertips. If the jar doesn’t come loose from the lid, it’s properly sealed. If it does, you need to repeat step 5 or refrigerate the jam to be used within a week or two.
6. Write the date and name of the product on the lid of the jar with a sharpie so that you can use it within a reasonable amount of time. As you might notice, we made one jar of seedless jelly for my jam-hating husband. 🙂 The canning book states that canned goods should be used within 1 year for best results. Also, when using your canned goods, look the product over for any signs of spoilage, such as an unpleasant smell, mold, cloudiness and the like. Check your canning book’s storage and use chapter for complete instructions on storing and using your home-canned goods.
7. Enjoy your homemade raspberry jam on toast, biscuits, pancakes or other goodies. 🙂
**There are no affiliate links within this post, due to the fact that our state has some dumb-a__ law that forbids us from making money through Amazon.