February 11, 2014
At our house we go through raspberry jam like jazz hands on the figure skating rink. It’s always the one that gets grabbed from the fridge first. Roaming our Saturday farmers market, I always find my way over to the adorable jars filled with that jeweled sweetness. I admit a case of sticker shock on what one little jar of raspberry jam costs, especially at the rate we go through it. It makes sense, fruit, especially out of season berries, are expensive and there is also the adorable jar factor that comes into pricing play.
Lately, I’ve been making my own jam with berries from Tri-County Produce (would someone mind casually mentioning to my husband a reference to his resourceful and practical wife?). This recipe here is for a bigger batch to be slathered on toast, spread on waffles, spooned over ice cream and maybe even gift your own adorable jar or two.
The best part about making your own jam is that it comes with a boozy-bonus. Collect the foam that bubbles up during the cooking process and it turns into a lovely syrup for cocktails or mocktails. Strain and pour about a tablespoon of syrup in the bottom of a champagne glass and then fill with Prosecco.
It’s a Valentine worthy cocktail — pink, bubbly and a delight with wonderful berry notes (perfect for a special brunch or breakfast in bed, perhaps?).
If you’re on the wagon, switch out the Prosecco for Perrier and you are good to go. For the mocktail version, I like to garnish with a little mint and a fresh raspberry.
Raspberry Jam and Syrup
Makes 20 ounces
25 ounces fresh raspberries, divided
10 ounces sugar
3 ounces Meyer lemon juice
Pour 20 ounces (yes, you’re gonna have to pull out your scale) of raspberries into a pot with the sugar — you are going to hold back about 5 ounces of the berries for later in the cooking process. Simmer for about thirty minutes, taking care to skim any of the foam that rises to the top (scoop into a small bowl) and stirring occasionally. When the jam begins to thicken, add those reserved raspberries and continue to cook an additional five minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest in the pan for an additional five-ten minutes. Pour jam into jars and store in fridge or make a huge batch of scones and go for it.
Your little bowl of foam should settle down into a nice little syrup. Strain it through a fine strainer and store in fridge until you break open the bubbly. Who needs cupid?