Thursday, November 4, 2010

Raspberry Preserves

I did end up making raspberry preserves with the plethora of raspberries that I picked in my dad's patch. I searched for some low sugar recipes after learning this summer how jellies and jams oftentimes have more sugar than fruit in them. That just felt obscene and I vowed to seek out alternative methods and recipes. I ended up modified this recipe from the Boston Globe who modified it from Afton Cotton.

1 1/2cups granulated sugar
1package (1.75 ounces) powdered pectin
6cups (a little more than 1 quart) raspberries, rinsed, picked over, and drained
1/2cup brown sugar
6tablespoons lemon juice
1teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Have on hand 5 half-pint canning jars. Sterilize them in boiling water. Sterilize the lids and rings, ladle, and any other equipment that will touch the jam. You will also need a canner and a jar lifter. Fill the pot with water and bring it to a boil.

2. In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar with the pectin. Stir well.

3. In a large saucepan, combine raspberries, remaining 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Let stand for 10 minutes or until the juices flow.

4. Add vanilla. Stir gently and bring the mixture to a boil slowly over medium heat.

5. Stir in the pectin mixture. Turn the heat to high and boil vigorously for a few minutes. If you have a candy thermometer, you can test to see if it has reached 200 or so degrees F. (This recipe originally said it had to reach 220, but I didn't get it that hot and it jelled just fine.)

6. Pour mixture into hot, sterilized jars, wiping down jar rims with a damp paper towel. Place lids onto jars and screw on bands, and place the jars in the canner, making sure the jars are covered by 1 to 2 inches of water.

7. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Process the jars for 15 minutes.

8. With the jar lifter, lift the jars from the pot. Place them on a clean kitchen towel and listen for the sound of success: POP! Let stand for 12 to 24 hours or until completely cool.

9. Test the seal by pressing down the center of the lid with your finger; it should not move. If it didn't seal, you'll just have to eat that one right away.

The resulting preserves are both tart and sweet. I like them much better than the really sugary jams.

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