Raspberry season is here! We have a bumper crop this year so we are so excited! My parents have quite the patch after all these years. Luckily, we live close enough to help with the picking and to enjoy the berries. The kids have a hard time collecting very many in their buckets since they eat 3-4 for every one they put in. My little Emma was especially having fun snitching from the box of picked berries while the rest of us were picking more. I wish I had remembered my camera so I could have taken a picture catching her "red-handed"! I finally had to give up on helping with the picking and just keep her out of the berries - she was eating handfuls at a time! I knew I wanted some we could take home to make jam with - plus I had a cheesecake cooling in the fridge to be our "bedtime" snack with some of the fresh raspberries. I definitely wanted berries for that!
Whenever I pick raspberries or eat the jam we make with them, I think of my grandpa. He developed this particular strain of raspberries when he was working on his Master's Degree at Utah State University. My parents would gather starts from their home every Spring we would visit them until we also had a good size patch.
My grandfather passed away many years ago, but we still all enjoy raspberry jam anytime we stop in for a visit with Grandma. She'll be 92 this year. I'm thankful that raspberries always make me think of them.
Anyway - on to jam making. I use the same recipe that I do for strawberry jam. You will find that posted here.
A potato masher works great to mash the berries. This year I actually stretched the amount of applesauce I used and tasted as I went to make sure it was still tasting like raspberries. I ended up putting almost double the amount of applesauce in and the jam is still delicious! That just means more raspberry jam and more memories for me.
My son, Tim, loved being my helper in the kitchen. The kids always love to use the potato masher. He also loved licking the bowl and spoon when we were done.
If you haven't picked up some Ultra Gel yet, stop waiting. I promise you'll love this jam.