Jam = Canning = Equipment = Complicated = Too many steps
Right? Wrong! There’s no need to can fresh preserves. Of course, the benefit is you can save them and eat them in the middle of winter, but you can also enjoy them straight out of the sauce pan.
I have always wanted to make some type of preserves. Last fall, after going to the apple orchard I made my first batch of apple butter. It was so comforting, perfectly spiced, a great addition to oatmeal or on a grilled cheese that I’ll definitely make it again this year. It inspired me to branch out and make this raspberry jam.
The whole canning process is a little daunting to me, maybe I’ll try my hand at it next summer, or this fall. But there’s another way to preserve your jam, you can freeze it! Or give some away to friends. I just made a small batch with the beautiful little gems below, raspberries and a few blackberries.
I was very surprised how well it turned out and I can’t stop eating it!
As it was simmering and I had the first taste, I thought it was too sweet and I tried to come up with something that might tame the sweetness a bit. Balsamic vinegar and salt! They took it down one notch to give it more of a rich, luscious flavor. There’s just a hint of the chardonnay, which tops off the taste. This jam would be good on toast, in cake layers, in yogurt or simply by the spoonful. You can get creative with the flavors you put in. I’d like to try adding some black pepper and thyme in the next batch. Or maybe some rosemary. I have to try different fruits, too. Maybe I’ll go for some blueberries next time around as it’s peak season for them.
I hope you try to make some of your own jam, especially if the only reason you’re not is the canning process. Skip it! The jam will still be good for a month or more in the fridge, and really who needs more than that to finish a few jars of delicious home made jam? Invite your friends and have a party, and don’t forget you can freeze it, too!
Raspberry Chardonnay Jam
Adapted from Kate’s Short and Sweets
Time: 45 minutes | Yield: 3 cups
3 1/2 cups Raspberries
1 1/4 cups Blackberries
2 cups raw sugar
1/2 cup Chardonnay
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
Muddle the berries and sugar in the pot. Add the chardonnay.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Add the salt and balsamic vinegar.
Leave the mixture to simmer uncovered until it’s reduced and the consistency is to your liking. I reduced mine for about 35 minutes. You can test for consistency by keeping a spoon in the freezer, then when you want to test the jam use the cold spoon to scoop a bit out and place it back in the freezer for a minute. See if it’s jelly-like and spreadable. If it’s still too runny, reduce a bit more.
Once it’s to your liking, leave to cool and then pour into jars to enjoy, or plastic containers to freeze and enjoy later.