When you pick raspberries the way my clan does, the abundance of fruit leads to an array of aspirational raspberry-laden recipes. In the end, though, it’s the simple raspberry jam recipe that takes over the lion’s share of fruit…the very best way to prolong our raspberry season joy. I love how these preserves do just that: preserve the flavor of summer and transport me back to the big raspberry patch where all of the children and brothers and sisters and Mom go picking. One spoonful and in my mind, in my mouth and above all, in my soul, we’re all together again in our happy place up north in Michigan.
Simple Raspberry Jam
Homemade simple raspberry jam puts purchased jam to shame! Here we can control the sweet-tart balance, which for me means plenty of tartness. More tartness lets the fresh berry flavor shine, boosted with a whisper of rose water. This recipe is based on the raspberry jam recipe in Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber. It may seem like a lot of sugar, but the balance is excellent in the end result. Christine says washing the berries rinses away the aromatic flavor. I don’t wash mine either, also because raspberries are so delicate. Just sort them carefully.
- 2 1/4 pounds raspberries
- 3 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- Juice 1 small lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon rose water
Combine the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium heavy-bottomed pot, stirring well to break up the berries and create juice.
Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking for about 10 minutes.
Add the rose water and taste, adding more if you like. The rose water is meant to enhance the raspberry flavor rather than have a strong presence itself.
Ladle the preserves into sterilized jars and top with the lids. Keep these preserves in the refrigerator for a couple of months, or process and seal in a hot water bath for shelf life.