The Alchemy of Fruit & Sugar:
One Punnet Raspberry Jam
There is an alchemy when fruit and sugar are mixed together and boiled; the fruit is preserved, the flavour is intensified and the colour becomes jewel-like and vibrant…….and then in the midst of winter, a jar of ruby-red raspberry jam can be taken down from the pantry shelf and summer is once again enjoyed at the breakfast table, or at the dinner table when comforting steamed puddings come anointed with a glowing red fruit cap. As Lavender and Lovage readers may have remembered from my last post, An Old Cottage Garden and Pink Gooseberry & Elderflower Jam Recipe, I have a long and happy history of fruit, gardens and jam making, especially with much-loved grandparents.
I make no apology for presenting you with another jam recipe, so soon after the last one, for all preservers and gardeners out there, you will know as I do that now is the time of great activity around the jam pan! Every day my husband is the proud bearer of tubs, punnets and yes, sometimes buckets of freshly harvested fruit and vegetables – and the cycle starts all over again when new fruit and veg come into season; it’s all about berries and currants right now, with raspberries, loganberries, strawberries, gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants being the seasonal stars of the show. So, stand by your raised beds, as I will be sharing lots of new preserves recipes over the next few weeks.
Today’s recipe for One Punnet Raspberry Jam, or Old-Fashioned Raspberry Jam, is one that is perfect for anyone with just a pound of raspberries to jam at their disposal; too often recipes call for at least 3 or 4 lbs of fruit, and whereas I DO use those quantities when I have a glut of fruit, there are often times where I just want to make a small batch of jam, or I only have one punnet of fruit available. (A punnet is usually a pound in weight) It’s also suitable for those who live alone, or who only want to make a couple of jars of jam at a time. I call it “old-fashioned”, as that’s how I remember my paternal grandmother making her jam – although my grandfather had lots of raspberry canes, she made jam on a daily basis, as and when he brought in the day’s pickings.
You can of course increase the quantities, based on your requirements and what you have, it’s a very easy 50/50 combination of sugar to fruit, a real old-fashioned long-keeping jam, as we all used to make. This is a simple jam recipe, but believe me, the jam will dazzle and delight all who try it when put on the kitchen table – it’s my daughter’s favourite home-made jam, and I often have to take a jar or two down to her in London when I visit. Spread it, liberally, on toast, croissants, muffins, crumpets or warm home-made bread, OR, slather it between Victoria sponge layers, dollop it on yoghurt and add it to steamed puddings…….it’s a winning recipe and is made in under 15 minutes once you have all the jars ready, and the fruit and sugar weighed. So, let’s raise some jam on toast and salute summer’s fruity harvest! Karen
Other Jam recipes on Lavender and Lovage: