Monday, August 31, 2009

Raspberry Jalapeno Jam

It's berry season. I LOVE berry season!!!! Ok, so strawberry season is over, but Raspberries, Blackberries and Huckleberries, etc. are all in season. Berry season in my house means one thing: JAM. And boy, do we go through a lot. I have a 13 year old son who eats a PB&J sandwich (along with everything else he can get his hands on) every single day!! It's my mom's fault, I'm sure of it. She hooked him on freezer jam when he was 7 or 8 and he's eaten a sandwich a day since then.

This year I decided to make a couple of new jams, along with my old stand-bys..... I don't really care for spicy food, but the following recipe caught me by surprise. It's wonderful!!!

4 3/4 C. crushed Red Raspberries
1/4 C. finely chopped deribbed, seeded, jalapeno peppers
1 T. lemon juice
1 pkg. regular powdered fruit pectin
7 C. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. unsalted butter (optional)

*Combine raspberries, peppers and lemon juice in stockpot.
*Combine pectin and 1/4 C. sugar is separate bowl, stir into berry/pepper mixture, add butter.
*Stirring constantly, bring to boil, add remaining sugar, return to full rolling boil & boil for 1 continuous minute.
*Remove from heat, skim foam, let set for 5 minutes.
*Pour into hot jars with 1/4" head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim & threads clean. Put on lids and bands.
*Put jars in water bath canner, cover with at least 1" water, process at gentle boil: 4-8 oz jars for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes. Adjust for altitude if needed.
*Cool jars on wire rack or cloth towel for 24 hours, check seals, identify & store.

Viola! Wonderfully sweet and spicy jam. I have made this recipe exactly like this and the flavor is excellent with very little heat. I have also made this recipe, seeding the peppers but careful to leave as much ribbing as possible. This results in a MUCH spicier jam, good for giving to hot-headed friends for Christmas... As always, remember to wear protective gloves while preparing your peppers. or OUCH!!

I have also made this recipe by substituting blackberries for the raspberries and cutting the sugar slightly. If you like blackberries, it is wonderful!!


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