Mom came into town the other day. I had been begging her for Aunt Shirl’s Jam recipe because it’s the best. So even better than just e-mail it to me, we made it together. Two batches actually, but I only took photos during the first.
Aunt Shirl’s Raspberry Jam
- 8 cups of raspberries
- juice of 1 lemon
- 5 cups of sugar
You’ll also need canning supplies including enough cans for all the jam. This recipe makes about 5 pints of jam.
Measure out 8 cups of raspberries into a colander. Rinse and toss them into a large (mine is 8 quarts) stockpot, preferably not non-stick.
Add the 5 cups of sugar to the raspberries.
Put the raspberries and sugar on the burner on medium heat. You don’t want it to burn. Stir as it heats. The sugar will begin to melt and mix with the raspberries which will start to break down.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon through a strainer into a cup to make sure you don’t get any seeds. I suppose you could use lemon juice from a bottle but I don’t think it would be the same
Add the lemon juice to the sugar-berry mix and continue to stir. It should start to look more molten like this. Once the mixture reaches a boil, set a timer for 30 minutes.
As the mixture boils, it will start to foam. Remove this foam by skimming with a spoon. This is probably the most labor intensive part of this process as it takes a while. You could leave the foam, but it would leave a white residue at the top of your jars. It’s perfectly safe to eat, but ruins the presentaiton (in my opinion).
While the jam is boiling, it’s time sanitize the jars you’ll be using. I used the large pot I’ll be sealing them in to sanitize them. Put them in the pot and fill with water to cover. Bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes.
When they’re done boiling, the jars will be very hot. Use a lid grabber or those hot dog tongs to pull them out and lay them out on clean towels to dry.
Once the jam has finished, turn off hte heat. It should look nice and shiny like this with no bubbles if you’ve removed the foam. This is the point when you would normally add pectin. However, raspberries naturally have enough pectin that we don’t need to add it. If you were making strawberry or blueberry for example, you would need to add it here.
Using a ladle and a funnel, begin filling your jars.
You want to fill them to approximately 1/8 inch below the top of the jar. I like it like this so that you don’t see the top of the jam when the lid is on.
Place the sealing part of the lid on. Note that you can reuse the jars and the ring part of the lid, but you can’t reuse the sealing part (the part with rubber on it). You’ll need to buy new ones of those.
Add the ring part and tight. These will loosen after the vacuum seal takes place and then you can tighten some more.
Now it’s time to vacuum seal. You’ll want to put these in a large stock pot with water to cover. The jars shouldn’t sit directly on the bottom of the pot because you want the hot water to circulate underneath.
I had bought a jar lifter which is a metal tray with handles that sits in the bottom of a pot to both keep the jars off the bottom to allow circulation as well as making it easy to pull them out, but it was too big to fit any of my jars. I did later find a pot for $53 at Target which was big enough (the only pot big enough between several stores).
Bring the water to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes. Use your jar lifter to get the jars out and set on the towels from before. Allow to rest overnight. The lids will loosen as the vacuum seal sets in, so tighten them the next day.
And that’s it. They should keep for several months.