Last year, we moved into a house that came with a very prolific raspberry bush. Last summer, we ate all the raspberries, pretty much right off the bush. I did make a few fresh-tart-style pies, but that's all I did with them. We even gave some away.
This summer, with two active kids, I can barely keep up with getting the berries off the bush before they go bad. Little Sister helps, since she would live on raspberries and crackers if she could, and every time we step out into the yard she reaches for the raspberry bush with an open baby bird mouth, saying "Eh. Eh. bahh-beyyyy(her version of raspberry)."
But since we have so darn many berries, and they are my total favorite, I finally looked up how to make freezer jam. Why didn't I know how easy this is? It seriously took me 10 minutes. And now I have a bunch of jam in my freezer. Which may or may not last me through the end of the summer (we have been putting it on everything--french toast, regular toast, waffles, yogurt, even ice cream!). But I do know I will be making more, and wouldn't it be great to have that fresh raspberry taste in the middle of the winter?
I just followed the directions on the package of Ball no-cook pectin:
|About $3 at the grocery store, and I used about a third of the container.|
So this is not really a tutorial so much as a little note to let you too know that yes, indeed, it is going to be easy!
I used about 8 cups of fresh raspberries, which came out to about 4 cups mashed.
In a bowl, mash your fruit (I used a potato masher), leaving it as chunky as you like it. You determine the amount of pectin and sugar to use based on your prepared (mashed) fruit, so do this first. I mashed mine right in the measuring cup so I would know how much I had.
In a separate bowl, measure your sugar and pectin and mix together.
Then mix the fruit in with the pectin/sugar combo:
Then put into your jars! After 30 minutes, you'll have one jar ready to eat and the rest preserved in the freezer for when you're ready to open a new one (like, tomorrow).