Why is it that the peak time for jam-making is also invariably the hottest time of the year? I’m talking now, people. The raspberries in my yard have started to ripen, and no doubt with the extreme heat this week, they’re going to ripen all at once.
While it’s almost 100 degrees and ultra-humid, I will be tenaciously stripping the canes of ripe berries. Then boiling gallons of water for hours. I’m in the thick of it now, folks.
Not only do I have the heat chasing me, I also have my daughter hot on my heels, greedily grabbing berries for her own. She’s kind of competitive about berry picking; I wonder who she got that from?
I’m cool with her raspberry fixation, but I would like to use some for recipes myself.
Yes, I could just choose to use the fresh berries in other ways, or freeze them to make jam later. But that would be too rational. When I’ve frozen berries in the past, I’ve forgotten about them until they’ve been in the freezer too long. So, I’m driven to make jam now.
If you’ve followed this blog since last year, you may recall my difficulties making raspberry jam. The first year I attempted it, I used an old-fashioned recipe that didn’t call for pectin. It took forever to make. The second year I attempted it, I foolishly prepared the same recipe and ran into the same problems. When I grew impatient, I cut the cooking short and didn’t allow it to set properly. I then discovered that you can snatch jam from the brink and re-make it.
This year I’m going to prepare a raspberry jam recipe that calls for liquid pectin. But an all-raspberries recipe requires quite a lot of berries; until their numbers reach critical mass, I’ll have to wait to make that. In the meantime I made this mango raspberry jam recipe, which includes just 1 1/2 cups of crushed raspberries.
Since my daughter declared that she loved mangoes (I feel like shouting that from the rooftops), mangoes have become a fixture in our household.
Many people don’t know quite how to cut up a mango. If this describes you, check out my earlier IN SEASON post about mangoes and view Mississippi Market’s video about dismantling mangoes. For this preparation, instead of cutting it up hedgehog style, I sliced the side pieces into wedges and removed the peel then chopped it up from there.
Note that the amount of chopped/crushed fruit is not the same as the fruit when it’s whole. 1 1/2 cups of crushed raspberries is derived from about 3 cups of whole raspberries. And it takes at least 3 if not 4 ripe whole mangoes to generate 3 cups of finely chopped mangoes. I used 3 mangoes, and once pitted, peeled and finely chopped, I didn’t have quite 3 cups. As a consequence, I ended up with 6 instead of 7 jars worth of jam in this batch.
Mango Raspberry Jam
(Adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. Makes about seven half-pint jars.)
3 cups finely chopped pitted peeled mangoes (about 3-4 large ripe Tommy Atkins mangoes)
1 1/2 cups crushed red raspberries (about 3 cups of whole raspberries)
2 T. lemon juice
1 pkg. regular powdered fruit pectin
5 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Start your water boiling in the canning pot. Finely chop the mangoes and crush the raspberries.
In a large saucepan, combine the berries and lemon juice and mix in the pectin until it dissolves. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Add the sugar all at once, and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Once at a full boil, boil it hard for 1 minute, then remove from heat, skim off any foam, and ladle into hot jars.
Add the lids, screw on the bands until fingertip tight and return to the canner, replacing lid. Bring the water to a full boil, let it boil with the lid on for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the lid and let the jars sit in the hot water for 5 minutes. Then remove the jars from the canner and allow them to cool completely.
What do you like to do with fresh raspberries? Are you a jam-maker too?