I recently discovered a great trick for keeping strawberries fresher for longer: wash them in a

one part vinegar to 10-parts water solution, then leave them out to dry before storing them in the fridge. There’s no vinegar aftertaste, and your strawberries will last way longer!

I figured this trick would work equally well on raspberries. I had spent a day out in the sun climbing around those spiky bushes picking berries, and decided jam making and canning could be postponed until the next day. I washed the berries and laid them out on a towel to dry. I went to bed quite pleased with my clever trick and advance prep work done.

I awoke to discover nearly a quarter of my harvest had sprouted a white fluffy mould overnight.

It was like it snowed in the summer. I stared in disappointment at the mess before sadly picking the bad berries out from the still good ones. I stewed over the blood, sweat, and tears that went into picking these, only to have this happen.

And to add insult to injury, every cookbook I consulted after specifically pointed out the fragile nature of raspberries, and how they should not be washed until ready to use.

Luckily, I had picked lots, and had enough still to make jam. And next time, I’ll freeze them if I’m not ready to can right away.


Raspberry Jam

Makes five 250 ml jars

Ingredients:

2½ pounds raspberries

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 package (57g) pectin powder

3½ cups granulated sugar

Method:

Clean the raspberries by rinsing them under cold water and drain. Sanitize the jars by boiling them in a large pot. Set aside.

Place raspberries in a medium pot with the lemon juice and pectin powder. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to smush the berries. Add the sugar, mixing well, and bring to a boil again for a full minute. Remove from heat, and if there is excess foam, skim it off with a spoon and dispose.

Ladle the jam into the jars, being sure to wipe the rims clean and leaving a ¼ inch space from the top before applying the lids. Fully submerge the jars in boiling water for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool to room temperature.

Raspberry Cocoa Jam: Mix in ¼ cup pure cocoa powder at the same time as the lemon juice and pectin powder. Be sure to use cocoa powder that does not contain any milk solids, as milk products should only be canned using a pressure canner and not a boiling water bath.

Raspberry Jalapeño Jam: Mix in 1-2 finely diced jalapeño peppers (depending how spicy you like it) at the same time as the lemon juice and pectin powder.

Raspberry Lemon Jam: Substitute the juice from one whole lemon instead of the tablespoon of lemon juice. Remove and discard the pulp from the lemon, and slice the peel into very thin strips, about an inch long. Add to jam mixture.