Thursday, November 24, 2011

Raspberry Mint Jam

Why haven't I made jam during the cold season before?  It's much more civilized than sweating in front of a hot stove on a hot summer day.  And, I have more time now then when the garden is at its busiest.  Simply freeze fresh picked fruit during the summer and leave the jam making 'til winter - now that's a good idea.
Raspberry Mint Jam
I was testing a recipe for Raspberry Mint Jam for the Prairie Fruit book I'm writing.  I was eager to try using frozen raspberries and some dried licorice mint that a friend shared with me this summer.   And, because I'm always looking for ways to reduce the sugar content of preserves, I also wanted to use No Sugar Pectin.  The benefit of No Sugar Pectin is that you can add as much or as little sugar as you want - it's really "Add as Much Sugar as You Want Pectin".  I wanted some sugar, but not as much as called for with regular pectin.

Side Note:  Raspberries contain enough pectin that you can actually make jam out of them without any commercial pectin.  But the ratio of sugar to fruit is 1:1.

Another Side Note: If you don't want to bother with the canning part, make half the recipe and keep your jam in the fridge.  Just put three clean, empty jam jars in a pot of water, boil for five minutes and pour your hot jam into those.  They'll keep in the fridge for a long time.

Enough side notes, here's the recipe:

Raspberry Mint Jam
6 cups          1 L              Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
½ cup          125 ml       Mint Tea, brewed strong
1 cup           500 ml       Sugar
1package                       No Sugar Pectin
  1. Wash and clean berries, if using frozen raspberries, thaw first.
  2. To reduce the number of seeds in the final jam, press half (or more) of them through a sieve with the back of a spoon.  Discard seeds.
  3. Add the remainder of berries to the puree and crush with a potato masher.   You should have about 4 cups of crushed/pureed raspberries.
  4. In a large stock pot, combine fruit, brewed tea and pectin.  Mix until pectin is fully dissolved.
  5. Stir and bring mixture to a full boil.
  6. Add sugar.
  7. Return mixture to a hard boil and boil for 3 minutes.
  8. To test for the proper jam consistency, cool a small plate in the freezer.  Place a spoon of jam on the plate and cool for 1 minute.  If the mixture is firm, it is ready. If it runs on the plate, continue to cook for 2 minutes and repeat the test.
  9. Remove from heat and remove any foam.
  10. Pour into hot, sterilized jars leaving a 1/4”( 7mm) headspace.
  11. Wipe rim with clean cloth and seal with hot sealing lid.
  12. Screw band on top and tighten finger tight.
  13. Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.
  14. Remove jars, cool undisturbed for 24 hours and check seal.
Makes: 5-6 half pint (250 ml) jars