Here’s my favourite jam – it’s super-easy, quick, highly fruity (about 80 per cent fruit) and as reliable as the sun rising. Using jam sugar, which has had pectin added to it, means you get a good set without overcooking the raspberries and reducing them to a mass of woody pips. Sometimes I replace 50g of the jam sugar with coconut sugar (made from the sap of the coconut palm) to add another level of flavour to this already gorgeous panful. Or you can fortify the jam by stirring in 50ml gin as soon as it reaches setting point and has been removed from the heat. Raspberries are in season from June to October. If you miss the raspberry season, then look out for frozen raspberries; they work just as well and you can use them straight from the freezer.
Best Ever Raspberry Jam
Makes 6 × 200ml jars
650g jam sugar (i.e. with added pectin)
a drop or two of olive oil (if needed)
Sterilise your jars and twist-on lids. Put the raspberries in a large heavy-based pan or preserving pan. Lightly sprinkle in the sugar, a third at a time, gently shaking the pan so the sugar is well distributed. Cover and leave for an hour or so for the juices to draw out.
Lightly stir the mixture with a wooden spoon to break up any clumps of sugar. Place over a medium heat and bring to a steady boil, then boil for 5-6 minutes for a soft set jam, or 7-8 minutes for a firmer set.
Remove from the heat and stir lightly (in one direction only) to remove any foam, adding a drop or two of oil if it doesn’t dispel easily. Tip into a wide-necked jug with a good pouring lip, then fill the warm sterilised jars to the brim. Seal at once.
Invert each jar for a minute or so, to ensure the lid is sterilised, then turn the right way up and leave to cool. Store in a cool, dark, dry place. Best eaten within 9 months. Keep in the fridge once opened and eat within 4-6 weeks.
Extracted from Pam the Jam: The Book of Preserves by Pam Corbin (Bloomsbury, approx €22.50)