Tea (or “Ti”) with jam and bread isn’t just for the vonTrapps of The Sound of Music fame. These drizzly winter days create a deep yearning for the comfort a cup of tea provides after a few hours in the muddy garden. I’ve been sipping my homegrown herbal teas and finishing remaining jars of last year’s raspberry jam on toast while dreaming up recipes for the pounds of Coppertop raspberries in our garage freezer. 2015 was a great year for raspberry harvests here.
Since the summer of 2014 when I first began harvesting Coppertop fruit and creating jams, pie fillings, fresh tarts, and other goodies from the bounty, I’ve stuck with classic flavors like pure raspberry and pure marionberry, venturing into blends only as far as strawberry-rhubarb jam. I wanted to savor the true essence of each fruit separately. One of our favorite uses for the raspberry jam was in almond shortbread thumbprint cookies over Christmas. They’re part of this platter of goodies from December.
2016 will be the first year I delve into blends, and I’ve been mulling over some jam ideas. Cherries and almonds go together superbly in my mind, so that will be a summer batch of jam. Because I am wild about ginger in any form, I decided to use it and lime zest to enhance the raspberry jam today.
The luscious smells permeating the house when jam is cooking are an extra bonus. I started with 2 ½ quarts (about 10 cups) of frozen raspberries.
To the age-old question of seeded or seedless jam, I heartily answer SOME seeds, and so after cooking I put about ⅔ of the cooked pulp through the food mill. Those who abhor seeds in jam may crank the food mill or press through a sieve a second round, but I prefer a scattering of seeds in my raspberry jam.
After processing the berries I added 4 cups of sugar, the juice and zest from two limes, plus about a quarter cup of finely minced ginger. Next I added liquid pectin. I generally use pectin designated for low-sugar jams since we prefer recipes bordering on less sweet and more sour. (I add powdered pectin to jams before sugar is added.)
After ladling hot jam into hot jars then sealing the jars in a water bath canner for 15 minutes (10 +another 5 for our altitude), I am pleased with the results: 10 half pint jars of raspberry ginger lime jam. Bring on the toast!