I’m getting my trash kicked by a raspberry
I love having raspberry bushes. I thought I’d read enough to become an expert on growing them. Unfortunately, there’s that *minor* discrepancy between book smarts and real-life experience. I’m discovering what the experts **REALLY** meant when they said to thin the raspberry plants to one every 18 inches. They meant it literally. It’s getting hard to keep up with how many berries are being produced! Thankfully, Bee and I like to eat fresh berries. Even then, though, we’re learning to make homemade raspberry jam. I think we’re going to have a lot of canning to do!
Homemade Raspberry Jam Recipe
I started by trying out this jam recipe on food.com. It was probably a combination of beginner-itis, but the directions weren’t as clear as I would have liked. After a second batch and some tweaking of the recipe, it’s much better.
- 3 cups fresh raspberries
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 lemon wedges worth of lemon juice
Just FYI: because you’ll be using equal parts fresh raspberries and sugar, this recipe is super easy to adjust to what you have on hand.
- To start, smash up your berries. I let the boys help, so they weren’t smashed evenly by any means. I do, however, like the more chunky homemade jams, so it wasn’t a problem for me.
- Put the mashed berries into a large pot over medium heat until they’re starting to boil.
- Add in the sugar.
- Add in lemon juice. I like to use 2-3 lemon wedges per batch of jam.
- Mix it regularly as it returns to a boil.
- Let it boil: I let my second batch boil for closer to 10 minutes and it was perfect, but we had some super juicy berries!
- Take the jam off of the heat and let it cool for a minute or two, then pour it into jars.
- If you’re going to can it, now’s the time, otherwise go on to step 9.
- Put a lid on the jam and let it cool. It’s delicious to eat as soon as it’s been chilled, but it’ll be even more perfect after a night in the fridge.
- Now you need some homemade bread to go with it! Enjoy.
After my first batch, it was more like raspberry syrup. I bought pectin, thinking I’d need that. But boiling the jam longer fixed that. I think it was a combination of longer heat activating the natural pectin in the berries with more of the water boiled off, and the sugar was better able to caramelize into jam deliciousness.