As I type this for you today my table is covered – covered! – in quarts of raspberries.
A kind-hearted neighbor invited us to pick last night. Just as he has done every August since we first moved here.
His berries are sustainably grown and he accepts no payment for the fruit he so generously shares (unless you count the jams and dilly beans we leave on his porch.) Last night we came home with not only ten quarts of berries but also a box of tomatoes and a couple of watermelons from his housemate.
Such a deal.
We left them a jar of Sunshine Jam as a small thank you for the epic haul of organic food. Though a tragically undersized token of our thanks, it seemed apropos in content since the raspberries inside are from his farm.
When we got home I poured one quart of fresh berries into a mason jar, added a few slices of fresh ginger root, and covered it in vodka. That will be a gift for our neighbor in a week or so.
Because, why not? You can only eat so much jam and I suspect I'm not the only one leaving jam on his porch ever week or two.
But you still need jam, don't you friends? I thought so.
I developed this recipe over the weekend with our first raspberry harvest. It's so good that I'm making a second batch today. Maybe a double.
Care to join me? Here's my recipe.
(Before we dig in, please note that I use Pamona's pectin. It's the only pectin I know of that still works when you sweeten with honey. I buy it at our natural foods coop.)
with peaches, raspberries, & ginger
(makes approximately 9 half-pint jars)
3 C raspberries
6 C peaches, pitted and chopped
1/4 C + 2 TB lemon juice
1 1/2 C local honey
2 TB Pomona's Pectin powder
2 TB + 2 tsp Pomona's calcium water (included with Pomona's Pectin)
1 Tb ginger root, peeled and grated
1 tsp dry ginger
2 tsp ground cardamon (optional)
Prepare Jars, Lids and Canner
Sterilize 9 half-pint or 14 quarter-pint canning jars and their lids in boiling water.
Fill your canner with water and set on high heat to bring to a boil.
Turn off heat when it reaches a boil.
Prepare your Jam
Combine peaches, rapsberries and their juices with calcium water in a medium sized cooking pot. (Mix calcium water according to package directions.)
Add lemon juice, ginger root and dry spices and stir to combine.
Bring fruit to a low boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, combine room temperature honey with pectin powder and stir well until fully combined and free of lumps.
When fruit begins to boil, add honey-pectin mix and stir well until honey is completely dissolved.
Taste for sweetness and add additional honey if needed.
Bring to a boil again, then remove from heat.
Jar it up
Fill sterilized jars to 1/4" from top. (I find that this works out perfectly to be just beyond the bottom of my canning funnel.)
Wipe jar rims with a damp towel.
Lid jars with sterilized lids.
Lower jars carefully into your almost boiling water in your canner and set over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil again, then simmer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes lift jars out and allow to cool, undisturbed on a towel for at least 2 hours.
After 2 hours check each lid for a good seal, then allow to rest for 24 hours.
After 24 hours check lids again and move your preserves to your pantry.