I love when black raspberries show up at our local Ohio farmers market, I feel like they're extra special. Rarely do you see them sold in stores, especially out-of-season, you won't find them in the frozen section, you need to enjoy them while they're fresh, or, find a way to preserve them. Black raspberries are not blackberries, they're smaller, and hollow inside, slightly sweeter than red raspberries, they're also nutritional powerhouses, so even if you don't make jam, try and seek some out during the summer months, they're "berry" tasty!
Until this year, I'd only frozen them, a lot of my family members have trouble digesting seeds, and raspberries, especially wild varieties, can be extra seedy. Then I found this recipe from Laurie Neverman of Common Sense Homesteading where she made a seedless raspberry jam, and I applied her technique to my black raspberries and was ecstatic with the outcome.
I've started using Pomona's Pectin in my canning, trying to cut back on sugar, Pomona's is a fantastic product that helps jams and jellies set with marginally less sugar than most recipes. Using less sugar really allows you to taste the fruits you're preserving, and the black raspberry flavor really shines here.
Puréeing the black raspberries isn't the easiest task, but I'll be so glad I went through it in the middle of winter, when I'm enjoying the flavor of summer. It would be great over ice cream, on pound, or Angel food, cakes, with a cheese plate, etc. Since this seedless jam isn't overflowing with sugar, you can definitely use it in savory applications, add some lemon or lime juice and make a glaze for fish, chicken, or pork. I'd love to know how you'll use yours!
Makes about 4-5 cups
Recipe slightly adapted from http://commonsensehome.com/low-sugar-raspberry-jam-jelly/
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
4 cups of black raspberry purée or mashed raspberries (will need 3-4 quarts of fresh black raspberries to get 4 cups purée)
2 teaspoons calcium water (included with Pomona’s Pectin)
2 cups granulated sugar, or 1 cup honey
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder
Step 2: Prepare Black Raspberry Purée
If you don't have a high speed blender, you'll need to run the black raspberries through a food mill a couple times. If no food mill, get ready to tone your biceps by crushing the berries and straining them.
I found the quickest way is to quickly pulse, a couple cups of berries at a time, in my Vitamix blender a few times (do not purée them, just crush them), then push the purée through a strainer. Don't push too hard or you risk pushing some seeds through. Work in batches until you have 4 cups purée.
Step 3: Cook Jam
Make sure you've washed your lids and bands. Fill canning pot with water, add five 8 oz. and one or two 4-oz. jars (I always prepare more jars than I think I'll need in case I get extra jelly), and bring water to boil, reduce heat, but keep jars in pot until you need them. You can also keep the jars warm, in the oven at 225F, until you're ready to fill them. With either method keep the boiling-water canner water hot. Line your counter with large kitchen towels, at least one for filling jars, and one for holding the boiled jars. Since my lids and bands are often wet, I usually put a towel underneath them too.
In a small bowl, mix together sugar (or honey) and pectin powder. (Don’t skip this step, or your pectin will clump.) Set aside.
In a 6-quart, or larger, pot, mix calcium water with the black raspberry puree. Bring to a full boil over high heat.
Add sugar-pectin (or honey-pectin) mixture, stir vigorously 1-2 minutes while cooking to dissolve pectin.
Return to boil, then remove pot from heat.
Step 4: Can Black Raspberry Jam
Remove jars from oven or canning pot to kitchen towel. Using a jar funnel, ladle jam into jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
Wipe jar rims with a damp paper towel, adjust lids and screw on bands fingertip tight.
Place jars back in canning pot, cover, return water to a boil, and start timing. Adjust heat and boil for 10 minutes for altitude up to 1,000 feet. Add one minute for every 1,000 feet above sea level. After 10 minutes turn off the heat, remove cover, and let the jars sit in the pot for 5 minutes. Remove to kitchen towel and let cool 24 hours.
After 24 hours, remove bands to wipe lids and check seals (you can either store with bands or without, I prefer with just so I don't lose them). Label and store, in a cool, dark environment for up to one year. Once opened, refrigerate the remaining jam.