In English this past term we studied this poem called “Making Redcurrant Jelly” by Margaret Scott. We spent weeks upon weeks (or so it seemed) studying the connotations of jam and blood and housework and the poem’s connections to women and knowledge across generations, and yet all I really wanted to do was eat some jelly. The poem initially brought confusion to the class. What is jelly? Do they mean Jam? The answer is basically yes. Jelly and jam are pretty similar.
I wanted to make redcurrant jelly, however, I soon realised that red currants are not that easy to get, and also raspberry jam tastes way better so I figured this holidays I’d make that instead. I’ve made jam numerous times in my life, most of them at one guide unit or another and this is a recipe that was shared with me the most recent time I made jam. It doesn’t have any pectin in it, apart from that provided in the lemons, so it’s more “natural” I suppose. I would suggest that you avoid messing with the quantities in this recipe, otherwise it probably won’t gel as well as it could. You can double this recipe, but any more than that and the cooking times will vary a lot so be careful.
This jam is more of a rustic jam and is slightly chunkier. I leave the seeds in my jam and pretend that it’s because I like wholesome traditional jam, when in fact it just saves time. If you’re not about that seedy life, then feel free to strain the jam before you jar it but that mostly just makes life harder.
If you want information on canning the jam, I’m probably not the most qualified person to tell you about that so I would suggest that you
Yields: 3x 250ml jars
Total time: 60 mins (will depend on the heat of your stove etc)
- 5-6 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries
- 2 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1/2 a lemon, juice and zest
- Place 2 or 3 plates in the freezer, you’ll need them to check the gelling of the jam later.
- Combine the ingredients in a large, heavy bottom pot. Heat on medium heat until the sugar dissolves; then increase heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- After the sugar has dissolved and the berries have softened stir a little. Continue to boil the mixture, stirring frequently.
- The mixture will foam up and expand and then shrink back as it cooks. With the edge of a metal spoon, skim foam from the surface of the jam and discard.
- Continue to boil the mixture until it has visibly thickened to a slow bubbling lava type consistency. You can test it by putting a spoonful on a chilled plate and then returning it to the freezer for 2 mins.(Remove jam pot from heat while waiting for gel test.) “Check to see if it has gelled by tilting the plate. If the jam runs, it needs to cook longer; if it stays put or runs very slowly, it’s ready. If not, continue cooking, testing again with a chilled plate every 5 minutes until it has gelled.”
- Once the jam has gelled, pour it into jars to keep in the fridge for 2 months, freezer it for up to 6 months, or use water process canning if you wish to store the jam in jars at room temperature for a year.For canning safety:
–Follow jar preparation and processing recommended by the USDA; see canning safety guidelines at http://www.freshpreserving.comFor general canning tips, go to http://www.theyummylife.com/canning_tips