This weekend, I was able to make 24 half-pints (three batches) of raspberry preserves (or jam) out of my spring harvest. After eating plenty of fresh raspberries over the course of two months, I still had enough to freeze for preserves.
Making preserves is not as difficult as one would think. I used Kraft Sure-Gel pectin and used the recipe on the insert. Raspberry preserves was my first attempt at canning, and I’m happy to say that I won first place for my preserves at my county fair!
- 8 half-pint mason jars with lids and rings
- 5 cups of mashed raspberries (about 2 quarts whole)
- 7 cups of sugar
- 1 package of Kraft Sure-Gel pectin
- 1/2 teaspoon butter (optional)
NOTE: This recipe works with Kraft Sure-Gel pectin. Using a different pectin could change recipe requirements. Please check the recipe for the pectin you purchased. Also, always make one batch at a time. Do not double or triple the recipe!
1. Sterilize the jars and lids by boiling them or using the dishwasher. (I put my jars in the dishwasher and used heat dry, but my lids and rings I boiled on the stove.) If you use the dishwasher, time it so the jars are still hot when it’s time to fill them. Also, start heating up water in your canning pot, so it will be boiling by the time the jars are filled.
2. Measure sugar into a bowl and set aside.
3. Crush the raspberries with a potato masher in a large bowl.
4. In a large pot, combine 5 cups of crushed raspberries, one package of Sure-Gel pectin, and the butter. (The butter is to prevent foaming. If you choose not to use it, you should skim the foam off the mixture before adding to the jars.) Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a rolling boil that is sustained even while stirring.
5. Once the mixture sustains boiling while stirring, add all the sugar. Continue stirring and bring back to a rolling boil. Once it boils again, continue boiling for one minute.
6. If you did not add butter to the preserves, skim the foam from the top of the mixture. Fill jars with preserve mixture, leaving 1/8 inch head space. Run a rubber spatula along the inside of the jar to remove air bubbles. Wipe off any spillage along the rim with a clean paper towel, cover with lids, then screw on rings. (Do not tighten rings too hard.)
7. Submerge the jars in the canning pot and be sure water comes back to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then remove.
I made this batch without butter for the first time – and without skimming. (We actually forgot to skim the foam before filling the jars! DOH!) My preserves came out a little cloudy due to the foam, but I don’t think it has affected the taste. However, I learned afterwards that although having the foam in the preserves is not harmful to eat, it is possible that it may shorten shelf life somewhat. (I think it has to do with the air bubbles in the foam increasing the head space upon cooling.) Thankfully, my preserves don’t last long, so it shouldn’t be an issue.
8. Put jars on the counter to cool with ample space between them. After 12-24 hours, lightly push on the lids to check the seal. If the lid does not bounce back, the lid is sealed. If it bounces back or has “give,” the seal is not good. Put that jar into the refrigerator and eat that one first.
DISCLAIMER: If canned incorrectly, clostridium botulinum is a real and dangerous risk! Sanctuary Gardener is not responsible for how this recipe is used, the use of poor canning practices, or canning errors. Please visit the site for the National Center for Home Food Preservation for more information on canning and preserving.