I love raspberries. I love them in ice cream. I love them in oatmeal. I love them in cake. And cake is why I created this Quick Raspberry Jam recipe. One of my all time favorite cakes is a Victoria Sandwich. It is so simple but so delicious without being overly sweet. Traditionally made with strawberry jam, my Victoria Sandwich is made with raspberry jam. And as easy as it is to just buy a jar it is never quite as good as homemade.
Why is this quick?
This is a Quick Raspberry Jam because you will not be canning it. I mean, you will be putting it in jars but there will be no water baths. You just place the ingredients in a pot and when the jam has reached the right consistency, you jar it up, let it cool and put it in the fridge.
One of the reasons I love this recipe is because it has a brilliant lemon flavor. If you are not a big fan of lemon, feel free to use half or completely leave out the zest. You still need the lemon juice. Since raspberries are considered low-acid fruit you need the acid from the lemon juice to help the pectin in the fruit set-up. If you don’t add the lemon juice, your jam may never set.
How long will it last?
Well, that depends on how fast you eat it! To make it last the longest, make sure to sterilize your jars. But it should last 6-12 months in the fridge. Since we haven’t canned it, this recipe is not shelf stable which means it must be kept in the refrigerator to stay fresh.
Tangent: Why do we say fridge when there is no “d” to be found in refrigerator? Why not just call it a frig? Or frige? The english language confounds me sometimes. Anyway… back to raspberry jam…
Sterilize Jars in the Oven
While you wash your jar(s) in hot soapy water and dry, preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Once dry, place the jar(s) on a cookie sheet, making sure none of them touch, and place in the oven for at least 20 minutes. When you are ready to fill the jar(s), carefully remove them from the oven and fill immediately.
Note: Never fill cold jars with anything hot or fill hot jars with anything cold. Doing so can cause shock to the glass and cause it to shatter.
Fresh or frozen berries
Raspberry season can be as short as three weeks in Minnesota. So, while they are at their peak I will use fresh. But most often I end up using frozen. The nice thing about using frozen is you don’t have to worry about washing them and picking through to make sure there are no stems or bugs. One thing I would strongly recommend whether you use fresh or frozen is to buy organic. And not just because you won’t be ingesting as many pesticides. The organic berries taste so much better! They actually taste of raspberries.
Quick Raspberry Jam
- 1 12 ounce jam jar or 3-4 ounce jam jars
- A 2-qt non-reactive saucepan
- Candy or instant-read thermometer
- Measuring spoons
- 12 oz fresh or frozen raspberries
- 8.5 oz granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. Lemon juice plus more if needed
- Zest of one lemon about 1.5 teaspoons
- Place a couple of small plates in the freezer.
- If using fresh raspberries, wash and pick out any stems or leaves.
- Place fresh or frozen raspberries, sugar, and lemon zest and juice into a pot large enough that the berries comes halfway up the side of the pan.
- Cook on medium heat until mixture begins to simmer, continue cooking for 10-15 minutes until the jam reaches 220° F. You can also check the jam by place a small spoonful on the cold plate, let it sit for a few seconds and then try to push the jam with your finger. It should wrinkle, if it’s still liquid when you push, your jam needs more time. Put the plate back into the freezer and keep cooking the jam, checking every few minutes using the plate test to see if the jam has set.
- Pour into jars and cover loosely with the lids. Let cool for about an hour. Tighten lids before moving them into the fridge.