Sunday, May 26, 2013

Relatively Seedless Raspberry Jam

Relatively Seedless Raspberry Jam on a Buttermilk Biscuit

This is how crazy I am...
 A church friend has asked me to make desserts for her upcoming wedding. I've decided to make Nanaimo Bars, Shortcake Biscuits with Warm Berries and Whipped Cream, and some White Cupcakes with Raspberry, White Chocolate, and Whipped Mascarpone. Look around this blog enough, and you'll notice that I don't make cupcakes very much. Therefore, I'm having to do a little experimenting. Today I made a practice batch of cupcakes and for the raspberry filling, I boiled some berries, strained them, boiled it again with sugar and a cornstarch slurry, cooled it, and injected the resulting mix into the cupcakes. Well, although the cupcakes taste great, the raspberry "filling" made the cupcakes mushy in the middle. Not tasty. So then I decided I need something thicker and less liquid to squeeze into the middle of these cupcakes. Raspberry Jam. Well, I was not about to use store-bought jam in these special cupcakes. 
I looked up a recipe and found a simple one with no pectin at It only had two ingredients. Score. So, at 8:30 on a Saturday evening, I went to the grocery store to collect the materials I lacked for making jam. And I bought some buttermilk so I can make some biscuits in the morning to try this new jam.
The original recipe on Epicurious was not for seedless jam, but since I'm going to use this for a wedding, I thought it needed to be seedless, right? So, this is what I came up with. We'll see how it tastes in the morning, and I'll have to try it out in some cupcakes too, just to make sure it works the way I think it should. For now, I'm pretty proud of myself for having decided on and executed this little adventure in about two hours. I won't be so proud of myself if it doesn't work out, but for now, the jars are sealed and cooling, and I am ready to do a little relaxing.
*Update: The jam turned out just about perfect. The consistency is just what I was going for, but it's so sweet. Next time (if there is one), I'll use less sugar and maybe add some lemon juice just to make it a little tart. This jam will be fine for the cupcakes, though. Whew!

Relatively Seedless Raspberry Jam
    --Adapted from

  • 8 cups frozen raspberries
  • 4 cups white sugar
"Special" Equipment:
  • 3 pint size canning jars with lids and bands
  • 2 large stock pots
  • metal rack for bottom of one stock pot (I used a steamer basket--not ideal, but it worked)
  • silicone spatula
  • potato masher
  • large strainer
  • large heat-proof bowl
  • metal spoon
  • canning jar lifter (recommended, but not absolutely necessary)
Wash jars, lids and bands with hot, soapy water. Dry with a clean paper towel. 
Place metal rack into the bottom of one of the stock pots and fill with water about one inch above the rack in the bottom. Set burner on low and place the three jars on the rack. If they don't want to stand up straight and they're bobbing, you can add another jar in there just to create balance.
In the other stock pot, pour the frozen raspberries and put on medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for about 5 minutes, using a potato masher to break up the berries. Remove from heat.
Set your strainer over a large bowl. Pour hot smashed berries into the strainer in batches, the size depending on how much your strainer can handle. Use the silicone spatula to stir and smash berry pulp through. Occasionally scrape the berry pulp off the underside of the strainer and into the bowl.
When you can't seem to get any more pulp into the bowl, scrape strainer bottom one last time, dispose of seeds, rinse the strainer, and repeat with another batch of hot berries. Repeat process until all berries have been strained.
Put the rinsed strainer over the now empty stock pot, pour berry pulp through one last time to remove as many seeds as possible. A few will sneak through. If you don't want ANY seeds, you might need to look up another recipe/method.
You should end up with about 5 cups of juice/pulp.
Set the stock pot back on the burner on medium-high heat. Bring berries to a boil again. Pour sugar into berries. Stir with silicone spatula as mixture comes to a boil. Boil on medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes, or until a clean, cool metal spoon dipped in yields a thick drippy syrup.
Now, you can either ladle the jam into the prepared jars (to within 1/2 inch of jar lip) or you can pour the hot jam into a glass spouted measuring cup and then pour into the prepared jars (to within 1/2 inch of jar lip). 
Wipe off any spilled jam from the lip of the jars. Set lid on each jar and then place rings on top and tighten just enough to keep lid in place. Do not tighten snugly. 
Bring the water in that pot to a boil, cover, and boil for about 3-5 minutes. (This is where my jam making knowledge falls apart). 
After boiling, remove cover and carefully (very carefully) with the jar lifter, remove jars to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Makes about 3 pints

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