(preface: This is a slight departure from the usual blog content!)
I’ve been overrun with raspberries this summer. It’s quite outrageous. What does one do with so many berries?
Last summer was my first experience with raspberries, as the house we’d moved to had some in the backyard. We thought they were fun to pick, ate many straight off the plants, put some in muffins (with white chocolate!) and on pavlovas, and gave more away. Then, in winter, we took to the spent canes with hedge clippers and left all of them at knee-height. I have subsequently read that my method is not the orthodox method for pruning raspberry canes. Raspberries come in two kinds, summer-bearing and ever-bearing, and the latter involves complicated growing stages – first year canes are called primocanes and second year canes are called floricanes. However, it didn’t seem to matter that I had no idea what I was doing pruning because this summer we have had more berries than I know what to do with.
Berries started in late November, and died down a little towards Christmas. But while this was going on, many more canes were growing. In late January the berries started again on the new canes, and are only beginning to wind down now. Production has varied, but generally I’ve collected 200-400g of fruit – every day. My freezer was getting full, bags were handed out to friends, and still they kept growing. So I made some jam. I’m not particularly good in the kitchen (or in the garden!!), but I really enjoyed making my own raspberries into jam. It was surprisingly easy, it gave me some breathing-space in my freezer and my friends got a break from being constantly asked if they wanted any fruit.
Raspberry jam (thanks to Emily for the recipe)
1.5kg caster sugar
1 packet Jam Setta (50g), or other pectin product
approx 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Sterilise glass jars and metal lids at about 110 degC in the oven. Place a small plate in the freezer.
- Cook raspberries in a large pot with the water until softened. Add the lemon juice, sugar and jam setta. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes. Skim off as much of the foam from the surface as possible. Leave on heat while testing.
- To test the jam, place a teaspoon of the mixture on the cooled plate and return to freezer for 1 minute. Remove from freezer and run a finger through the jam. If you can make a line – and it wrinkles – without the mixture running back together, then it is ready.
- Remove mixture from heat and take first jar from oven. Spoon (or funnel) in jam, leaving about 1 cm at the top of the jar (i.e., just as the screw lines for the lid start). Immediately seal with lid and set aside to cool. Repeat with remaining jam.
- Leave for at least a day to set. Full jars can be stored in a cupboard for 6 months (and probably up to 12). Opened jars and half-filled jars should be refrigerated.