As I’m making raspberry jam this morning, I hear my son say, “mom’s jammin’!” Made me laugh. I pictured me in my black lace-up boots and headband, guitar in hand . . . rockin’ out to “Livin’ on a Prayer.” Yep. It’s time for my weekly Bon Jovi reference. Truth is, homemade jam rocks! It is easy. It is delicious. And each jar waits patiently in your freezer for its turn to adorn your rolls or toast or homemade bread with its goodness. You can’t complain about that.
Be sure to check out the freezer jam tips here or below. They make all the difference!
These instructions came from the MCP Pectin box. If you use a different kind of pectin, follow the instructions in that box.
4 pints raspberries
1/4 c fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 box MCP Pectin
4 1/2 c sugar
1 c light corn syrup
Wash and rinse plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Use 1- to 2-cup size containers.
Prepare raspberries by washing and crushing 1 cup at a time with a potato masher. (Do not puree. Jam should have bits of fruit.) Place exactly 3 1/2 cups crushed raspberries in large mixer bowl. Juice lemons and stir 1/4 cup lemon juice into crushed raspberries.
Gradually stir pectin into fruit and mix thoroughly. Set aside for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to dissolve pectin thoroughly.
Meanwhile, measure exactly 4 1/2 cups sugar into bowl and 1 cup light corn syrup into glass measuring cup. After the 30 minutes, pour corn syrup into fruit mixture. Mix well. This prevents sugar crystallization during freezer storage. Stir in sugar gradually. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy.
Pour into prepared containers, leaving 1/2-inch space at the top for expansion during freezing. Cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set. Refrigerate up to three weeks. Otherwise, store in freezer for up to one year. Thaw in refrigerator.
Freezer Jam Tips:
1) Follow exact instructions on the box of pectin. Don’t substitute or reduce sugar or jam will not turn out, or as the MCP Pectin instructions put it “failure.”
2) Use MCP Pectin. That brand works wonders. Don’t know specifically why it is better than others, but it just is.
3) Measure ingredients very precisely. It is important.
4) Using a KitchenAid really helps. Totally not necessary, but really helps since you end up mixing the jam every five minutes for a half an hour.
5) If recipe calls for lemon juice, bottled Minute Maid frozen lemon juice (thawed) or fresh lemon juice works best. I like to use fresh because, well, it is fresh. ‘Nough said.
6) If using fruit that darkens, sprinkle fruit fresh on fruit mixture after adding pectin. Makes the jam more “purdy.” (Pretty, for all those of you who don’t speak “country.”)