THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Raspberry preserves

(Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)
July 21, 2010

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Makes 4 or 5 half-pint jars

An easy way to test for the gelling point is to place a small plate in the freezer for a few minutes until it is very cold. Spoon a little of the jam onto it. Return the plate to the freezer for a few minutes until the mixture cools to room temperature. Run your finger through the jam. If the mixture leaves an open trail behind your finger for several seconds before closing back up, it is set and ready to be processed. If it closes back up immediately, it needs to cook a bit longer. If you have a candy thermometer, use it; jams, jellies, and preserves will reach the gelling point at 220 degrees.

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 package (1.75 ounces) powdered pectin for less- or no-sugar-added recipes (such as Sure-Jell in the pink box)
6 cups (a little more than 1 quart) raspberries, rinsed, picked over, and drained
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1. Have on hand 5 half-pint canning jars. Sterilize them in boiling water. Sterilize the lids and rings, ladle, and any other equipment that will touch the jam. You will also need a large stockpot, a canning rack, and a jar lifter. Fill the pot with water and bring it to a boil.

2. In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar with the pectin. Stir well.

3. In a large saucepan, combine raspberries, remaining 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Let stand for 10 minutes or until the juices flow.

4. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and allspice. Stir gently and bring the mixture to a boil slowly over medium heat.

5. Stir in the pectin mixture. Turn the heat to high and boil vigorously for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and test for gelling. If gelling point has not been reached, boil for another 1 or 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, skimming any foam off the surface with a metal spoon.

6. Pour mixture into hot, sterilized jars, wiping down jar rims with a damp paper towel. Place lids onto jars and screw on bands, and place the jars in the canning rack. Lower the rack into the boiling water, making sure the jars are covered by 1 to 2 inches of water.

7. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Cover and process the jars for 15 minutes.

8. With the jar lifter, lift the jars from the pot. Place them on a clean kitchen towel on a heatproof surface. Let stand for 12 to 24 hours or until completely cool.

9. Test the seal by removing the band and pressing down the center of the lid with your finger; it should not move. Replace band, screw on tightly, label with date, and use within 1 year. If the lid springs back, the jar has not sealed. Store in the refrigerator and eat within 2 weeks. Adapted from Afton Cotton