During the summer especially, we focus on learning where our food comes from. As big fans of jam we headed out to a u-pick farm to pick raspberries for raspberry freezer jam making. Daisy was able to focus on picking for twenty minutes (18 minutes more than last year!) and learnt how to look for ripe, red raspberries without squishing them.
When we got home we threw in a handful of berries from our new raspberry canes in the garden. We thought it would give the jam good luck.
Daisy loved mashing the berries and with raspberries the process was much easier and required less muscle action than strawberries.
The pectin we had on hand needed to be boiled with apple or cranberry juice. We do lots of baking and food prep in our kitchen but Daisy has not had much experience of using the stove and both of us were a little nervous. We talked through the process and worked slowly. The recipe we used can be found on the leaflet on the inside of the pectin box.
- Wash and rinse plastic freezer jars – we use old margarine, sour cream and cream cheese tubs.
- Using a potato masher, crush fruit one layer at a time; do not puree.
- In a medium 6 cup/1.5 L saucepan, whisk fruit pectin into 1-3/4 cup unsweetened cranberry or apple juice until dissolved. Stirring frequently, bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Turn off heat and immediately add crushed fruit to hot pectin mixture; stir vigorously 1 minute. Taste and if desired add 1/3 cup sugar or honey.
- Ladle into clean plastic freezer jars leaving ½ inch headspace. Apply lids. Cool in fridge until set. Serve immediately, refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freezer up to one year.
We used apple juice as it was what we had in the house. We will try
cranberry next time. Daisy got to stir the pectin and then added the fruit,
CAREFULLY to the hot pectin. We discussed the need to slowly lower the fruit
into the pectin and juice to avoid hot splashes of juice hitting us. She
repeated the mantra “slowly lower the fruit, slowly lower the fruit” while
We moved away from the stove to fill containers with jam and used a ladle. Most of the jam went into the containers.
Daisy helped to label the containers with the date and jam and everything was ready for the freezer once it cooled. I like using dissolvable labels so I can reuse the container again without having to scrub the label off.
The best part, as always is the taste test!
If I was making jam with more than one child or as a class activity, I would avoid the stove altogether. The freezer jam pectin can be stirred into the crushed fruit and requires NO STOVE or heating. Less stress when working with children seems like the better option. If each child brought in a little yogurt pot they could take a sample home or simply eat it on a slice of bread like we love to do.
Bernardin’s site has some lovely recipes: