With raspberry season here, Tamara Novacoviç decides to make a jam perfect for those glorious summer mornings.
By Tamara Novacoviç
The glorious time of raspberries has arrived. Joy and happiness. How much I love this time of the year…Our garden is full of red, juicy, soft, gentle, seductive fruit. I feel like I want this time to last forever. I also want to preserve raspberries and eat them forever and ever, fresh and sweet. What better way to do so than making a raspberry jam? Preserving summer in a jar. Ok, the jam is not forever, it actually lasts for a very short time in my fridge because I am a true raspberry addict…But it’s the best way to save all those raspberries and enjoy them in fall/winter time. If your jam lasts that long. Mine won’t. But, another fruit and another jam will come soon…
Summer mornings are the greatest. I like to wake up early and enjoy the nature in its full glory. No noise coming from the neighbors, smell of fresh coffee that wakes me up, a walk in the garden, among vegetables and fruit refreshed by dew, lovely rose scent that fills my nostrils… I take a bowl and go into that colorful part of our garden where the raspberries grow. All is red and green. If I bow, I will encounter numerous tiny ladybugs, ants and all kinds of creatures having fun in the middle of raspberry bushes-a scene Tim Burton himself would recreate.
One of the things I often wonder is the difference between jam, marmalade and similar spreads. Every time I browse the internet or cook books I encounter different info. However, I conclude it all comes down to this:
Marmalade is a traditional English preserve made exclusively of citrus fruit-citrus peel and juice is combined and boiled with water and sugar. However, in other countries, marmalade can mean preserves made with fruit other than citrus. In this case, it’s a jelly with pieces of cut fruit in it.
Jam is made from any type of fruit-the entire fruit is used (not just peel or juice). It is usually crushed or pureed.
Jelly is made using the juices of the fruit and it’s much stiffer than a jam-if cut, it will hold its shape.
Preserves is usually the same as jam, but it often applies to cooked gelled whole fruit.
Of course you can buy fresh raspberries if you don’t have your own, you can even use frozen ones when they’re not in season. Home made jam is definitely much better way to enjoy this fruit that store bought versions. It’s healthier and rewarding to have something you made yourself for the breakfast. It will take you 15 minutes to pick raspberries (or buy them) and another 15 minutes to make this. Since raspberries contain very little pectin, powdered or liquid pectin is added to thicken the fruit and its juices.You can also add another fruit that will help it thicken, like apples. However, I wanted pure raspberry bliss. And it’s what I got. It smells great, the color is perfect, the taste wonderful, 100 % fruit. I used powdered pectin. This recipe yields 3 jars of 450 g-sized jars.
- 35 oz (1 kg) raspberries
- 2½ cups (500 g) sugar
- 4 tsp (25 g) powdered pectin
- Wash raspberries, combine them with sugar and leave for 1 hour at room temperature, in order to release the fruit juices.
- Sterilize jars: wash jars, separate lids and place both jars and lids in a slightly heated oven, let them warm up inside while you cook the jam.
- Place fruit together with its released juice and dissolved sugar in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes, then stir in powdered pectin and cook, constantly stirring, for 3 more minutes.
- In the meantime, carefully take out jars from the oven.
- Remove jam from heat and immediately, while hot, pour it into hot jars. Tightly seal them with lids and place upside down. Leave for 5 minutes. When cooled to room temperature, put in fridge or store in your pantry.
Tamara Novakovic is a passionate self-taught cook, food blogger, freelance food writer and photographer behind bite-my-cake.blogspot.com. Her life journey has led her through Faculty of Humanities in Zagreb, Croatia to discovering passion for making cakes. She is currently a weekly food columnist for Croatian newspaper V magazine and food magazine Repete.