Thursday, 2 July 2009

Nearly free, nearly seedless raspberry jam

When we took on our allotment a year ago there were already lots of raspberry canes on it, bearing fruit. For a total £7 rent a year, this more than pays to keep us in raspberries for the summer! I was a bit clueless last year, but this year I have got right on to it and made some raspberry jam.

I got Preserves out of the library and got to work. Although the recipe was for seedless jam, I kept on pressing the fruit pulp through the sieve to get a bit more texture, without making it too pippy. I found a used a huge amount of raspberries only to get two thirds of a jar of jam, so I’m going to try again with bigger quantities. Luckily there is a seemingly endless supply right now.

Nearly seedless raspberry jam
Adapted from Preserves by Catherine Atkinson and Maggie Mayhew

450g raspberries
About 450g granulated sugar

1. Use a mixture of just-ripe and a few underripe berries to ensure a good set. Put the fruit in a large heavy pan and crush to release the juices using the back of a wooden spoon.
2. Gently heat the fruit mixture to boiling point, then simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring now and then, until the fruit is really soft.
3. Tip the mixture into a fine nylon or stainless steel sieve placed over a bowl and push through the fruit purée using the back of the wooden spoon. Keep on until a few pips have come through too, then discard the remaining pips.
4. Measure the fruit pulp into the cleaned pan, adding 450g sugar for each 600ml purée. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, then boil rapidly until setting point is reached (105 C/220 F). (I don’t have a thermometer, so this entails a lot of guesswork about when the jam starts to stiffen a little!)
5. Using a slotted spoon, skim any froth from the surface, then pot the jam, cover and seal.

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