It’s been a busy experimental kitchen over here!! I feel like a squirrel getting ready for a long winter! Harvesting, cooking, canning, and filling every available space with nature’s bounty.
Over the weekend, I was abundantly blessed with a gift of raspberries from a friend. I’ve been wanting some fruit jams and glazes to add to my cheesecake, but I got stuck because after researching pectin, I found that the only truly gluten free, grain free kind is the liquid form of Sure-jell (and the most expensive) because the others contain corn derivatives.
So, I was super excited to find this blog on how to make pectin-free jam!! I tried it myself and am excited to say…it was EASY! And the result is…DELICIOUS!
I outlined my steps below and my photos.
Two pounds of fresh-picked raspberries…washed, de-bugged, de-wormed, and delicious!
After adding about 3/4 cup of organic sugar (for lower glycemic, change this to coconut sugar) to the 2 pounds of raspberries in a large bowl, I let them macerate in the fridge overnight (this is the process of allowing the sugar to bring out the flavor of the fruit, plus acts as a preservative). Pictured above, I just started to simmer them on the stove, using a skillet with as much open space as possible.
After the fruit started to soften (see the picture above), I added one tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice (make sure there are no seeds when you squeeze it). I cooked them for a while, at least 15-20 minutes,and sampled a taste. Wayyyy too tart for my taste, so I added another 1/2 cup of the organic sugar (you could also try raw honey here in place of the sugar). I’m sure the sweetness level needed will vary by a person’s personal taste, as well as what type of fruit is is.
After I had determined that the mixture would be sweet enough, I returned them to simmering, stirring often so as not to scorch. I wondered when I would know that it had cooked long enough…here you can see it is much darker and has a “sheen” to it on the top. Even before that, though, there was a resistance to pulling the spoon through the mix that hadn’t been there before.
As a double check, I spooned some onto a chilled plate and ran my thumb through it (pictured above). I actually did this a few times, re-chilling the plate each time I tried, and on the last try, it looked like what I show in the picture – there was a true separation left where I had brushed my thumb through (and it was a delicious way to sample it).
At this point, you could freeze the jam if you have the space. If you are going to use it relatively soon (within a month or two), just placing it in the refrigerator is fine. I’m in a “store it up” mode, so I decided to waterbath can them for long term preservation. If you haven’t canned before, it is important to follow instructions for safety. Ball has some great videos that explain things here.
Out of two pounds of raspberries, I got three 8 oz. jars plus a teensy bit more, which I just put in the fridge for us to enjoy now. YUM!