Raspberry jam has always been one of my favorite jams. When I was a child, my entire family would pile into the car and drive to the places in our county where my mom knew the most delicious raspberries were growing. All of us got a container and then we had to pick the raspberries. It wasn't a chore that I liked, the bushes were thorny and it just wasn't fun. However, I did love to pop the raspberries right into my mouth - they were sweet and delicious. Back home, my mom would start making jars and jars of raspberry jam that would last until the next summer, and the spiel would start again.
In the late eighties I bought a cookbook in England that had the recipe for the most delicious raspberry jam and it just asked for raspberries and jam. No pectin, no nothing - just like my mom's jam. I used to make this recipe for some years - it always took three days to make and always turned out wonderful. When we moved to the States, however, the cookbook didn't make it across the ocean.
So for years I didn't make any raspberry jam. I didn't feel like it, I didn't want to, I was lazy, whatever. Then one day I found this recipe on the internet - raspberry jam with just two ingredients, raspberries and sugar. I had to try it.
Unfortunately, I don't know WHERE this recipe comes from, and I never quite follow all the instructions. This is how I do it.
Of course you need raspberries and granulated sugar, and I use both as organic. Fortunately you can get organic granulated sugar at Costco and it's the only sugar I use. Trader Joe's often carries organic raspberries for a very reasonable price.
The amount of raspberries and sugar is always the same - if you have four cups of raspberries, you need four cups of sugar. If you want to make lots of jam, you probably are better off with eight cups of each.
Warm the sugar in the oven at 250°F for about 15 minutes. You might wonder why - warm sugar simply dissolves better when you mix it in with the raspberries.
While the sugar warms, put the raspberries in a large enamel or stainless steel pot - I use my Dutch oven. Boil them up over high heat and mash them with your potato masher while they heat up. Constantly stir them while they're boiling for one minute.
Doesn't it already look pretty delicious? I wish you could smell it - the flavor of the berries will fill not only your kitchen but your entire house.
When the sugar is warm, add it to the raspberries and boil until the berries start to gel. This takes a while, and the boiling bubbles will make a bit of a mess. It gets a little sticky here!
Always stir with a wooden spoon - you don't have to constantly do it, but repeatedly. You don't want the jam to burn to the bottom of the pot (believe me, I'm talking from experience).
When the mixture has thickened it's time to ladle it into sterilized jars, leaving about a ¼ inch at the top. Screw the lids on and let them cool down on the counter.
After that all you have to do is open a jar and enjoy your wonderful old-fashioned raspberry jam.