I must admit to a somewhat sentimental attachment to raspberries. As a kid, I spent summers on an island (aptly named Raspberry Island) overflowing with wild raspberry bushes.
My brother and I would spend hours amidst the brambles picking the bright red, sweet-tart, little gems. Occasionally we’d pick enough berries that we’d need to use our t-shirts as makeshift baskets to carry them back to the house, but mostly we would just eat them as we picked.
Sentimental attachments aside, raspberries are just plain delicious – the quintessential summer fruit. So when we moved to our new home a few years ago, one of the first things we planted was a good-sized patch of raspberry bushes. Finally this summer, the canes are starting to bear a decent quantity of fruit.
Our boys are thrilled; recently they’ve gotten in the habit of running down to the raspberry patch at various points during the day to see if there are any newly ripe berries . . . and if there are, they eat them immediately. They’ve become such berry fans that I had to ask them to hold off on the eating part for just a bit so that I could have enough berries to make this recipe! A good problem to have, of course.
Raspberry seeds don’t really bother me (they aren’t nearly as annoying as blackberry seeds), so I generally just ignore them. On occasion, however, I’ve thought that it might be nice to indulge in a bit of raspberry goodness totally unencumbered by seeds. So the boys and I made this recipe the other day.
To remove the seeds, I pressed mashed raspberries through a fine mesh strainer. It’s a bit of a time-intensive process, but the results are totally worth it. This jam is smooth in the way that a jelly is, but has much more body since it’s made from the pulp of the fruit, not just the juice (as is the case with most jellies).
For the sweetest, richest-tasting jam, be sure to use berries that are fully ripe.
Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam
Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam is a low-honey cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy. This recipe was created by Allison Carroll Duffy for Pomona’s Pectin.
She says: “This jam is smooth in the way that a jelly is, but it has much more body since it’s made from the pulp of the fruit, not just the juice (as is the case with most jellies). For the sweetest, richest-tasting jam, be sure to use berries that are fully ripe.”
Yield: 4 to 5 cups
Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam Ingredients
3 level quarts of raspberries
1 vanilla bean
2 teaspoons calcium water
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder
Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam Directions
1. Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.
2. Pick through raspberries, discarding any stems. If raspberries look clean, rinsing them is optional.
3. Place berries in a large bowl and mash them thoroughly (a potato masher works well for this).
4. Place a mesh strainer over a large bowl, and transfer mashed berries into the mesh strainer. Press the mashed berries through the strainer (the back of a wooden spoon, as well as clean fingers, works well for this), so that the raspberry pulp goes through the strainer into the bowl below, while the seeds remain in the strainer.
5. Measure out 4 cups of the raspberry pulp (you may have some left over; if so, you can use it for something else.) Pour the measured pulp into a large sauce pan.
6. Slice vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise, then scrape out the seeds (a paring knife works well for this). Add the vanilla seeds, along with the pod itself, to the raspberry pulp. Add the calcium water as well, and stir to combine.
7. In a separate bowl, combine the honey and pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.
8. Bring raspberry pulp to rolling boil over high heat. Add honey-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return jam to a boil, then remove from heat. Using a pair of tongs, carefully remove and discard the vanilla bean pod.
9. Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).
10. Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)
11. Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then remove jars from canner.
12. Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Then confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.
Recipe and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy
You will find the recipe only (with fewer pictures) here.
You will find our Pomona’s Day Give Away (book, pectin, jars, funnel), which is happening August 5 through August 13, 2014, here.