20 minutes plus canning time
There are no add-ins, lemon juice, or pectin in this raspberry jam recipe: just the berries and sugar, which makes for a deeply fruity spread that tastes like summer—no matter when you open the jar. With nothing to hide behind, the quality of the fruit is paramount, so make this recipe when fresh raspberries are at their peak. Pick up the best berries you can find and then carefully check them, discarding any with blemishes or mold. Warming the sugar first keeps the fruity mixture boiling evenly. And, while it may be tempting to use less sugar, don’t. It helps ensure the finished product is safe to preserve.
If jam-making and canning feel intimidating to you, start by reading up on the tips below the recipe and studying this guide to processing from The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. You’ll also need to pick up a few essentials like glass jars, canning tongs, wooden spoons, and a wide-mouth funnel. And be sure to wear an old long-sleeve shirt that will protect your arms if the jam splatters as it cooks. If you choose not to can your jam, it should last in the fridge for about 3 weeks.
The efforts are worth the payoff here. Trust us, you’ll thank yourself come wintertime when you slick this onto scones for brunch, use it in the ultimate PB&J, or dollop a spoonful on top of ice cream.
Makes 4 cups (1 L)
Place sugar in an ovenproof shallow pan and warm in a 250°F (120°C) oven for 15 minutes. (Warm sugar dissolves better.)
Place berries in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a full boil over high heat, mashing berries with a potato masher as they heat. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add warm sugar, return to a boil, and boil until mixture will form a gel (see tips, below), about 5 minutes.
Ladle into sterilized jars and process as directed for Shorter Time Processing Procedure .
Editor's note:This recipe was originally published in ‘The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving’ and first appeared on Epicurious in May 2006. For more of our favorite raspberry recipes, head this way→
• To make a small boiling-water canner, tie several screw bands together with string or use a small round cake rack in the bottom of a large covered Dutch oven. Be sure the pan is high enough for 2 inches (5 cm) of water to cover the jars when they are sitting on the rack.
• To determine when the mixture will form a gel, use the spoon test: Dip a cool metal spoon into the hot fruit. Immediately lift it out and away from the steam and turn it horizontally. At the beginning of the cooking process, the liquid will drip off in light, syrupy drops. Try again a minute or two late—the drops will be heavier. The jam is done when the drops are very thick and two run together before falling off the spoon.
• "The intensity of this jam is due to the fact that it has no added fruit pectin," says Topp. Adding pectin helps the jam jell, but necessitates more sugar, which dilutes the natural flavor of the fruit. Making jam without added pectin requires more careful cooking (see notes about the spoon test, above), but the extra effort pays off in a deliciously old-fashioned, fruity product.
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This jam is so good, I can't believe I made it! I used 1/2 the sugar called for and next time I might use a little less - I love a bit more tartness than others, maybe. I followed the directions exactly - didn't scoop off the foam - as much as I wanted to. I am leaving this review because I have a bit of advice, as well as a question. First, for those who question how to deal with pouring warm sugar into the saucepan, I suggest you line your baking pan with enough foil that you can lift a bit to form a spout, then lift the foil out of the pan and pour it in...so much easier. My question is - I would like half the seeds, do you think I could use half strawberries with this recipe and still have it come out good?
For those who say this is too sweet- I have been making raspberry jam for 30 years. I always use twice as much berries as sugar. So 4 cups of berries with at most 2 cups of sugar, no pectin... I also have never processed it in a water bath and have not had any issues. An occasional lid doesn't seal so I use wax on those.
Grand Rapids, MI
How much water?
Is there a certain amount of water you need to boil the raspberries in? I’m new to making my own jam!
Definitely reduce the sugar by half. I used freshly picked black raspberries, cut the sugar by half, and it is still just a tad too sweet for me. I followed the drippy spoon advice and just judged when I thought it was thick enough—lots of two minute timers and constant stirring (~15 min total after the first initial boil). Delish!!
If there were 5 forks, I would give it all 5 plus. I have made jam for a very long time and decided to use no pectin if it made delicious jam. I discovered this recipe when I purchased the book "Small-Batch Preserving". This is the best raspberry jam recipe I have ever found and I have been making it for three years. I usually double the recipe and follow all the directions exactly. It is like eating the essence of raspberry when finished. Love it. By the way, there are many many more recipes in this book that I use all the time. It is my favorite preserving cookbook especially since it allows me to try something new without committing to a canner full.
Grand Blanc MI
This was so simple to make. I substituted half of the sugar with Stevia. I bake cookies and put a dimple in them for the raseberry. They are totally amazing. Oh I drizzle white chocolate over them too...
This is the fifth time I’ve made this jam. So quick and easy and naturally tasty. I would recommend this recipe to anyone. In fact I already have done. Just searched your fruit scone recipe and made those - not had a chance to taste them yet!
I used frozen raspberries, 1/2 cup sugar per 1 cup raspberries, cooked the mixture for 7 minutes, and the outcome was great. Thank you for the recipe!
Never made Jam before, was looking for something to do whilst in Lockdown, only used 1 cup of Raspberries with 1/2 Cup of Sugar, perfect, absolutely look it and would make again.
I have a major sweet tooth, and I love good raspberry jam. I tried making this recipe last night. It looked great, and it gelled fine, but the jam was sweet enough to render it inedible. You can barely taste the raspberries for the sugar. My husband said the same. I think this might be OK if you used 1/2 the sugar, or even 1/3 the sugar. I'm hoping to figure out a way to rescue it.
Excellent recipe, must experiment with other fruits! I will be using this small batch recipe (trying it without the pectin) using up precious fruits, berries.
Wood River, IL
this is the first time that l made it and l put a small amount of pineapple and it is very good and this is the only recipe i will use from now on.
My raspberries stuck to the bottom!! next time I don't think I will do the hard boil the recipe asks for. Very disappointing. At this point I am not sure it is salvageable. It's a lot of raspberries to waste though... This is a basic recipe that I will probably use again. I make a lot of 1 cup recipes using this method for refrigerator jam.
Ft. Myers Fl