Make a rich and delicious jar of red Raspberry Preserves with fresh or frozen raspberries in less than 30 minutes. It is a great way to preserve the fresh raspberry flavor; no pectin is required.
For many people, raspberries are not common. Not only are they small and time-consuming to gather, but they are also expensive in grocery stores. However, that's different for us. My mother-in-law has a garden full of raspberries, and we harvest them from June to October. The garden has different kinds of raspberries that ripen at other times, some earlier and some later. They also come in different sizes and colors. Nothing beats the pleasure of consuming them fresh, straight from the garden. But when winter arrives and the craving for raspberries strikes, this delicious raspberry preserve becomes exceptional. It also makes a thoughtful gift.
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What are raspberry preserves?
Raspberry preserves, or raspberry jam, are a yummy spread with a rich and tangy flavor that adds a delicious touch to cheesecake, tart, yogurt or ice cream. Made of raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice, this homemade jar of raspberry preserves is a great way to savor the unique raspberry flavor beyond its short season.
Natural Ingredients to make a homemade raspberry jam jar
Look for berries that are free from any mold and tasty, any color will work. Discard overripe or damaged berries. You can use both fresh or frozen raspberries. Just defrost and drain them before using them in this recipe.
I use fresh lemon juice in preserves for two reasons. First, lemon juice acts as a natural preservative, helping extend the raspberry preserves' shelf life. Second, it helps to maintain a bright, vibrant color.
I'm not a big fan of overly sweet preserves and minimize the amounts of sugar as I like the natural taste of raspberries. However, adding some sugar is essential to achieve a perfect combination of sweetness and tartness if we use lemon.
I prefer using unrefined organic cane sugar in my recipe but feel free to use any other type of sugar you have available.
This delicious recipe doesn't use any pectin. Raspberries, along with other berries like strawberries or blueberries, naturally contain pectin, which helps thicken jams and jellies. When you macerate the berries before making jam, it allows the natural pectin to release and thicker it.
How To Make Raspberry Jam Preserves with no pectin.
First step: Prepare the raspberries
Wash the fresh raspberries thoroughly with lukewarm water. If you are using frozen raspberries, Thaw them by placing them in a strainer or colander. Let them sit at room temperature until fully defrosted. Once thawed, gently drain any excess liquid.
or defrost frozen raspberries and cut them in half.
At this stage, you can also clean jars in hot soapy water and set them dry or use a dishwasher to prepare them.
Second step: Combine ingredients
Combine the raspberries with granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and squeeze in the lemon juice. Stir the raspberry mixture until the sugar is incorporated and the berries are evenly coated. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. This maceration process encourages the natural pectin in fruits to release, helping thicken the jam.
Third step - simmer the mixture
Transfer the raspberry mixture to a saucepan and place it over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and remove from the heat when you can make a line at the bottom of the pan. That signals the mixture has the right consistency and the preserve is ready.
Fourth step - ladle into a sterilized jar
Once the preserves reach the desired consistency, transfer them to sterilized jars. Leave a bit of headspace at the top of each jar to allow for expansion during cooling. Seal the jars tightly and let them cool at room temperature. You may hear a popping sound as they cool, indicating a proper seal. Once cooled, store the raspberry preserves in the refrigerator. They will continue to thicken as they cool further.
Variations to this yummy batch of raspberry jam
Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste and mix it into the jam for a delightful raspberry-vanilla flavor.
Incorporate some freshly grated lemon zest or a squeeze of lemon cordial for a refreshing twist.
Mix some fresh mint leaves into the fruit preserves for a cool and minty flavor.
Grate some fresh ginger for a zingy and slightly spicy taste.
Combine fresh raspberries with other berries like strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries to create a mixed berry preserve with a medley of flavors. You can also use strawberry coulis.
Sprinkle a pinch of ground cinnamon or stir in a cinnamon stick while cooking the jam to infuse it with warm and aromatic notes.
You may also like other delicious preserves.
How can you tell if the jam is done without a sugar thermometer?
I never use a sugar thermometer when preserving fruits. I rely on simple tests to check if it's done.
First, while stirring it, I look for a line to form at the bottom of the pan. Once this line stays visible and doesn't immediately fill back in, it means the homemade jam is ready.
Another test you can do is the plate test. Place a small amount of the hot jam on a chilled plate. Let it cool briefly, then push it with your finger. If it has a jelly-like texture and holds its shape without being too runny, it means it is done. If it's still too liquidy, put the pan back on low heat and continue cooking for a few more minutes, then try the plate test again until it reaches the desired consistency.
Why Does This Recipe Work?
Maceration: Allowing the raspberries to sit with sugar and lemon juice for ½ an hour helps break down the fruit, release its natural juices, and infuse the flavors.
Brown sugar: Adding sugar not only sweetens the preserves but also acts as a natural preservative. It helps thicken the mixture and provides a balanced sweetness.
Lemon Juice: The lemon juice adds a tangy flavor to the preserves and helps balance the sweetness. It also aids in preserving the color and freshness of the raspberries.
Thawing and Draining: Thawing and draining frozen raspberries and draining any excess liquid ensures that the preserves have the right consistency and texture.
Storing and Freezing
You can keep the raspberry preserves in the fridge for a maximum of two weeks or store them in a sterilized jar for up to one month. You can also freeze it. If you prefer to freeze the preserves, allow them to cool first and then transfer them to a freezer-safe container. It can last in the freezer for up to three months.
If you want to keep your raspberry preserves in the pantry for a long time, you can use the canning process. This involves boiling the filled and sealed jars in a hot water bath. It helps extend the shelf life of the preserves to about a year.
Here's how to do it:
- Place the filled and sealed jars into a large pot with a rack and fill it with water. Make sure the jars are fully covered with 1-2 inches of water.
- Bring the water to a full boil and let the jars process for 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and carefully remove the jars from the boiling water using jar lifters or tongs.
- Place the jars on a surface lined with a towel and let them cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. During cooling, you may hear a popping sound as the jars seal.
- After the jars have cooled, check the seals by pressing down on the center of each lid. If the lid doesn't flex or pop, it means the jar is properly sealed.
- If some jars don't seal properly, refrigerate and consume them within a few weeks.
- Store the properly sealed jars in a cool, dark place like a pantry or cellar. They can be stored for up to a year.
How to use fresh raspberry flavor jam?
- Enjoy it on a slice of fresh bread or toast with crunchy peanut butter; they match perfectly.
- This flavorful jam is perfect when drizzled over pancakes, scones, or waffles.
- Layer it with yogurt and granola to create a rich yogurt parfait.
- Use it to fill pastries like turnovers, tarts, or thumbprint cookies for a sweet and tangy treat.
- I love to add a spoonful or two to my morning oatmeal.
- Use as a topping for desserts like cheesecake, ice cream, or panna cotta instead of coulis.
- Combine a spoon with vinegar and spices to create a glaze or sauce for meats like chicken or pork, or pair it with cheese for a tasty appetizer.
- Lastly, you can even use it to enhance your summer drinks like lemonade, iced tea, or cocktails for a refreshing twist.