My summer kitchen is bursting at the seams. Of course I found more lurking zucchini after dispatching yesterday’s, we had barely gotten through last week’s vegetables when this week’s CSA box arrived, the tomatoes are finally going in the garden, and the pears and plums are ready to pick. On top of all that, we have a lovely friend who always calls us when her figs are ripe, and J came home one recent evening with a brimming box of perfect green figs.
Today was a cooking whirlwind. It was the first day of our Nash’s CSA, and when my sister and I looped through the market to pick up our box I couldn’t resist bringing home a flat of raspberries as well. So that meant jam-making (and everyone eating countless raspberries off their fingers, of course) in addition to our first CSA salad of the season, followed immediately by a five-hour cooking spree with new and old friends to produce a Senegalese feast. The dishwasher is now running for the fourth time.
My sister was making gorgeous salads on one counter (greens, strawberries, goat cheese, pistachios, balsamic, thank you!) while I got a habenero chile sauce going on the stove, so J had the bright idea to set up the canner on the barbeque burner outside. We will certainly be doing that again this summer to keep the kitchen cool.
Here are a few things you should know about making jam. First, you don’t have to can it. You can always make just a bowl or a couple of jars; keep them in the fridge and use them within a week or two (depending on the sugar content). Alternatively, you can make a larger batch and freeze your jam instead of canning it. Finally, if you use pectin, I recommend Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which doesn’t require a high percentage of sugar to work. So you can sweeten your jam to taste and it will still set nicely.Continue reading Raspberry Jam (click for recipe)