Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No more excuses

Raspberry jam (p228) has been at the top of my 'jams to make' list for months. You see, there are about a dozen recipes in other parts of the book that have raspberry jam as an ingredient, and I'm not about to go buying raspberry jam when I have to make some anyway.

This meant that I couldn't make any of these recipes until I'd got around to doing the jam. And for various reasons, I just kept not getting around to it: I'd forget to buy the (frozen) raspberries, or they were too expensive to fit into the grocery budget. Once, I went to Pak N Save specifically for raspberries, only to find that they'd sold out. Another time, I'd been out for a walk and wound up at Merivale, where I noticed frozen raspberries on special. I grabbed some and was nearly at the checkout before I realised I didn't have my wallet with me!

This evening, I finally got a packet of frozen raspberries, and came home with the intention of finally getting this jam out of the way. My determination briefly wavered after a quick walk to the library - I was quite tempted to leave the jam for another night and sit down with one of my books. But I couldn't give into this temptation without making a liar out of myself: I'd announced at work that I was going home to make jam (this in response to a belligerent demand for baking. It wasn't a great comeback, since it immediately elicited the response "oh good, you can bring some scones to go with it").

Anyway, as soon as I got home, I headed into the kitchen to get the job done. Luckily, it's a remarkably simple recipe, with only two ingredients: raspberries and sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. I began by putting three cups of raspberries in a pan, heating them until they defrosted and the juices began to run out. This took a few minutes, so I got some jars sterilising in the oven while I waited.

When the raspberries were appropriately juicy, I added the sugar, which briefly swamped the raspberries to the point where it seemed like I was going to be dealing with a thick, pink sugar paste. To my relief, this soon transformed into a nice jammy-looking mixture, so all I had to do was stand there stirring until the sugar dissolved - oh good, my favourite pastime.

It didn't take all that long though, and once it was thoroughly dissolved, I just had to let it boil for a few minutes - no faffing about with setting point tests or anything, the thing about this jam is that it's still runny when you put it in the jar, but it's supposed to firm up after a few days' storage.

After four minutes on the boil, I took the jam off the heat and transferred it to the prepared jars. Since I have not yet acquired a jam funnel, I poured the jam first into a large jug, and then into the jars. I really should have learned by now to take the jars out a little earlier and let them cool down slightly - the jam was boiling in the jars as I poured it in.

It now remains to be seen whether the jam will firm up nicely or not. I'll check it in a few days, and I'll be able to find out what it tastes like. I'm not too optimistic - I think it'll be very sweet. The mixture was still slightly tart when I was dissolving the sugar, but during the boiling process it seems to have turned into something horribly sickly, judging by the brief taste I had before washing out the jug. I'll just have to wait and see!


  1. remember the jam should ideally still be slightly running not firm, sounds yummy. You've got to love raspberry jam!c

  2. Yeah I'll check it out tomorrow - hopefully it won't be too firm or I'll have difficulty spreading it over sponges and similar!

    The comments are working again I see..


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