I’m lucky enough to have a friend with a beautiful garden that includes a very well kept raspberry patch. And I’m even luckier that I have occasionally been told to go ahead and help myself! I’m also fortunate to have another friend with a mad rhubarb patch, so even though I’m not allowed to grow it in our yard, I always manage to have enough. This jam marries the tartness of both raspberries and rhubarb with a floral citrusy nose.
In my post on small batch blueberry lavender jam I waxed poetic about the virtues of canning in small batches. I love making jams, and I always try to make things you can’t just go out and buy. Making jam doesn’t have to be an all day endeavor. If you are new to jam making, I highly recommend Marisa McClellan’s website, Food in Jars, as well as her books on canning.
This jam is another one that plays with floral flavours. Orange blossom water can often be found in the ‘ethnic’ aisle of grocery stores, or in stores that carry other somewhat specialty items. Ensure you add the orange blossom water at the end of cooking, as the flavour is quite delicate.
Time: about 45 minutes
Makes: 5-6 125mL (4fl oz, 1/4 pint) jars – yield will depend a little on the water content of your berries
You will need:
- 1 lb of raspberries
- 1 lb chopped rhubarb – if using frozen, it should be thawed but not drained (as long as it wasn’t packed in any sort of extra liquid!)
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar (add an extra 1/4 cup if you think you want your jam a bit sweeter- these raspberries were very sweet and it didn’t need the extra sugar)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp orange blossom water
Prepare jars and hot water bath for canning. I always prepare one more jar than I think I will need. When you are making small batches of jam you are relying on the natural pectin present in the fruit as well as the large surface area of your cooking pan and the small amount of fruit in order to cook off enough liquid for it to set. This means the yield can sometimes be a bit more or less than you expect. See here if you are new to canning for more detailed instructions for this part.
Mix the raspberries, chopped rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice in the pan you are going to cook your jam in. If you are using thawed frozen rhubarb, do not drain the liquid. You want a shallow sauce pan rather than a deep pot in order to help with faster evaporation. Allow the fruit, sugar and lemon juice to sit for about 15 minutes until the sugar has become syrupy.
When your jars and hot water bath are ready (it will take longer for that water to boil then you think it will!) start cooking your jam. Over medium high heat, bring the fruit/sugar mixture to a boil. Stir constantly once your jam is boiling. It will foam up a bit at first, but then will settle down.
As it reduces and thickens, it might splat and get a little bit messy. Cook for 20-25 minutes. You will know your jam is ready when you draw the spoon through the jam it doesn’t immediately fill in the space and it ‘hisses’. I have a video of this ‘test’ in the this post. Here is a description of the plate test, another way to check for set. When your jam is ready, add the 2 tbsp of orange blossom water and stir for another minute.
Remove your jars from the boiling water and quickly fill jars to about half an inch to the top (you can go a little fuller, to 1/4 inch from the top, but don’t do less than half an inch). Place tops and fasten rings fingertip tight. Process for 10 minutes in boiling water. Remove from water and let cool, testing seal after about 12 hours. Store in a cool dry place. Any jars that do not seal (I’ve only rarely had that happen) should be refrigerated and used first.