Quick and Easy Small Batch Raspberry Freezer Jam
Small batch, no pectin jam is so fresh tasting, so easy to make, so yummy, you will be making this all the time!
Our raspberry patch is very new, planted last fall, so is not yet producing tons of berries … and, my garden helper very much enjoys helping Nannie by eating the berries as she puts them in the bowl ; )
Even with his help, I was able to gather just over 2 cups of raspberries for jam making. One jar for hubby and I, and one for the helper to take home to mom and dad.
Small batch jams are amazing, they are the answer! You can adjust this recipe to use up whatever amount of berries you have on hand. Just over 2 cups of fruit will fill up 2 jam jars aka 2 x 250 ml mason jars.
This jam needs no pectin and no need to hot water bath the jam either, as it goes straight into the fridge or freezer. All you need is about 3o minutes of free time to prepare the jars and cook the jam. Easy peasy and hardly any clean up either. This is perfect for those of you who are like me… want cooking to be quick, simple, and fresh tasting.
This jam will be a bit less stiff than pectin jams, is looser. Tastes so good, you will wonder why you haven’t been doing this all along. I know that is what I was thinking!
To gel (set up) no pectin jams, you want three things…
To cook for a longer amount of time, in this case, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Lemon juice. With low pectin fruits like raspberries, blueberries and strawberries, use more lemon juice, for medium pectin fruits, some lemon, and for high pectin fruits, no lemon needed.
About 60% as much sugar as you have berries.
I had just over 2 cups of raspberries, so used just over 1 cup of sugar. You can add more sugar if you want sweeter, but not less.
Ingredients and how to …
2 cups of raspberries
1 heaping cup of sugar
1/2 medium sized lemon
Put the berries into the pot and mash them with a potato masher. Add the sugar and squeeze in the juice of the lemon. I used one of my own homegrown Meyers lemons, but as it was on the smaller side, I used the juice of the entire lemon. Remember to put your hand under the lemon as you squeeze the juice into the pot to catch any seeds that may come through … saves you from scooping them out of the berry mixture. If you have more berries, use more lemon juice.
Slowly heat up on a low heat to melt the sugar.
Then turn up the temp to a high heat and bring to a boil. Cook on high for the first 5 minutes, stirring often. Skim off any foam and discard or add a dollop of butter. My mom always skimmed, so that is what I do.
Lower to a medium heat and cook jam for an additional 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
To check the set of the jam, drop some jam onto a chilled plate. If it sets up nicely to your liking, does not run all over the plate, it is ready. Or, you can check for gelling by using a chilled spoon. Put a spoon in the freezer as you begin the cooking. When you are ready to check the set, pull it out of the freezer and dip it into the jam. If the jam drips off of the spoon in drops, it is not yet ready, a single glob means almost ready, but if it sticks and coats the back of the spoon, you are good to go. For looser jam, cook 5 minutes less (I like looser : )
To sterilise the jars, place them into a pot of water as you begin to cook the berries and bring to a boil. Let them boil for at least 5 minutes. Lift out carefully and place on a tea towel. Wash lids with soapy water, rinse, dip into the boiled water and swish about. Place lids on tea towel to dry, as well.
Let the jam and jars cool for 10 minutes, pour or scoop into 2 x 250 ml sterilised mason jars, leaving 1 cm of headspace. Place in fridge where they will store for 3 weeks, or pop into the freezer.
Enjoy your lovely, quick and easy, homemade jam on toast or on ice cream : )
*You will notice that we have two kinds of jam here. We were so excited about making our small batch jam, that we also made a super delicious blueberry one, as well. Find that recipe HERE. So amazingly yummy!