I want to tell you about some jam.
I’m not 100% sure when raspberry season finishes – I misjudged the end of the summer season, and had to drive the whole way across the county to find mine – but I’m hoping there might be some autumn ones where you live, and that this post isn’t a month too late (or, depending on your point of view, 10 months too early).
If not, there’s always the possibility that you made the same slight error of quantity judgement as me: I’d forgotten to ask how many grams a punnet held, and turned up at the counter of a place where they’d told me there aren’t many raspberries left, but you might find a few, I suppose with two and a half kilos in bulging plastic punnets. I had to make an emergency stop on the way home for 5 bags of granulated sugar, 3 lemons and a strange look from the checkout assistant.
I now have a cupboard full of jam and also a dedicated ‘berry drawer’ in the freezer.
Recipe after the jump.
raspberry and violet jam
This is from Diana Henry’s Salt Sugar Smoke. I held back on the violet liqueur, worried that the jam would end up tasting of parma violets, but I needn’t have done; it’s more of a flavour booster for the raspberries.
Makes around 5 445g jars.
1kg granulated sugar with pectin (‘jam sugar’)
juice of 1 lemon
75ml (5tbsp) violet syrup or liqueur
Sterilise your jars by washing them and their lids in very hot, soapy water and drying in a low oven. I normally leave them in the switched-off, closed oven until I’m ready to use them.
Put a couple of small plates in the freezer.
Put the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a huge pan, and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat up and boil until it reaches setting point. If you have a sugar thermometer, this is 104.5℃. If not, put a teaspoonful of jam on one of your frozen plates, wait until it cools and push it with your finger. If it wrinkles, the jam will set.
Take the pan off the heat, skim any yuk off the top and stir in the violet syrup. Leave to cool for 12 minutes (this ensures the seeds are evenly distributed), then ladle into your warm, sterilised jars. Cover with a waxed paper disc and seal.
This keeps for a year. Because it’s less sugary than most jam, you’ll need to refrigerate once it’s opened.