When I go to the farmer’s market, I have to hold myself back when I see plump green okra that would be perfect for pickling or strawberries that would make the most delicious jam. I love the idea of putting up food and the sustainability and resourcefulness that the practice implies. But the key phrase here is “love the idea.” For all my good intentions, when it actually comes time to can anything my motivation goes out the window.
Last week, I stumbled across a package of CERTO (liquid fruit pectin) in my spice cabinet. My good intentions are to blame for how it ended up in my shopping cart and my lack of motivation for canning are the reason it has sat in my cabinet for close to a year. As I searched for an expiration date I happened to pull out the instruction sheet and discovered recipes for jam that don’t require you to sterilize mason jars or even use your stove-top. Is it true, I asked myself. Is there an easy and quick way to make jam? Why, yes. Yes, there is.
Motivation returned in force and I quickly got my hands on fresh, plump raspberries. Twenty minutes later I was washing dishes as my homemade raspberry-thyme jam set on the counter. Forget canning, refrigerator jam is my new best friend.
The biggest difference between standard cooked jam and this recipe is its shelf-life. I won’t be able to put up my jam for some future apocalypse or nuclear winter, but it will last for a year in the freezer and three weeks in the fridge. This no-cook jam will also not get as firm as cooked jams, but this didn’t bother me one bit. Its consistency was perfect for serving over goat cheese with crackers and for smearing on bread for the classic PB & J. Fresh-tasting, very sweet, and lovely in color it’s mighty impressive for taking just minutes to make.
Easy No-Cook Raspberry – Thyme Jam – Printer Friendly Recipe
Barely adapted from the CERTO Premium Liquid Fruit Pectin package instructions
Makes about 5 cups of jam
To give the jam a little twist, I added about 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme. If I were to make the jam again I would either leave it out all together or add far more as I really couldn’t taste it.
4 (6-ounce) containers fresh, ripe red raspberries
4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons or more fresh thyme leaves (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 pouch CERTO*
In a large bowl, crush the raspberries using a potato masher or wooden spoon. Strain half of the crushed raspberries through a fine sieve. Return the strained juice to the bowl and discard the seeds. Stir in the sugar and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Add the thyme.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and CERTO. Add the CERTO mixture to the raspberries and sugar and stir for about 6 minutes or until all of the sugar crystals have dissolved. Don’t give up on this part. It takes a while to dissolve all the sugar crystals, but they will dissolve eventually; just keep stirring.
Pour the mixture into very clean mason jars or plastic containers. Cover. Allow the jam to set on the counter for 24 hours. Store one jam in the refrigerator and freeze the remaining jams until ready to use. The raspberry-thyme jam will keep for 3 weeks in the refrigerator and 1 year in the freezer. Enjoy.
*CERTO can be found near the plastic bag, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap section of most grocery stores. It might also be found near the Mason jars if your grocery store carries them. Two pouches of liquid fruit pectin come in each package.