Scottish raspberry jam, made with locally grown raspberries. Nothing beats homemade jam, great spread on freshly baked scones or fantastic layered with pastry and almond in a Bakewell tart!
Scottish raspberry jam is one of my all time favourite jams. Living where I do, in the North East of Scotland, I am lucky enough to have sweet Scottish raspberries available to buy right on my doorstep.
I love berries, with raspberries being a real favourite, alongside Scottish strawberries. Raspberries have a sharpness to them which balances out the sweetness, making them less sweet than a strawberry.
As a family we eat a lot of Scottish soft fruits over the summer months. When you can pick up local grown berries so easily they tend to get snacked on or eaten in desserts.
Buying jam berries?
However, I always buy tubs of jam berries from Barra Berries Farm Shop when I’m over buying their beautiful soft berries and delicious ice-cream.
Jam berries are often a lot cheaper to buy than boxes of berries off the shelf. They taste no difference, but they are often different sizes or shapes.
Buying jam berries is definitely the most cost effective way to make jam, unless you grow your own berries.
Rule of thumb: fruit to sugar ratio!
The normal rule of thumb for jam is equal quantities of fruit to sugar. I add the juice of a lemon to add the pectin necessary to set the jam.
How to make raspberry jam?
Making jam is easy if you follow the process. Homemade raspberry jam tastes better than many shop bought varieties and there is a real satisfaction making your own.
Sugar is used to preserve the fruit, it is what allows you to keep and store jam. Traditionally jam making uses equal amounts of sugar to fruit, or in the case of a jelly a pint of fruit juice to a pound of sugar. The amount of sugar used determines the set of the jam. I have always used granulated sugar when making jellies and jams. Granulated sugar is cheaper and melts quickly.
Some fruits like apples, blackberries and blackcurrants are naturally high in pectin, meaning that the jam will set easily. (However, if making something like Scottish raspberry jam, you will need to add in pectin and this is done by adding a little lemon juice to the raspberries and the sugar.)
You can buy jam sugar which has added pectin, however in my experience it can result in too firm a set. For this reason I prefer to use granulated sugar and if necessary add a little lemon juice. It is also a lot cheaper.
Testing the set of jam or jelly?
Knowing when jelly is ready to take off the heat. Testing the set of jam is the trickiest part of the whole jelly making process. One that you get better at as you become more experienced.
I always use a jam thermometer. It really is the only way to check your jelly or jam has reached the required setting temperature. The setting point for jam is 104.5C/220F.
However, I still like to use the wrinkle test. Place a plate in the freezer before you started making jelly, take it out when you think the jelly is almost ready.
Spoon some jelly onto the cold plate, pop it back in the freezer for a minute or two, then take it back out and push the jam with your finger to see if it wrinkles. If it does then the jelly is ready. For a firm set the wrinkle will hold in place. For a softer set the jelly will just wrinkle.
How to sterilise jars?
It is essential that before jarring or bottling any food for storage, that you sterilise the glass jar or bottle first. There are many methods for doing this, all of them relatively straight-forward:
- Firstly, you can wash the glass and lids in hot soapy water, rinse them (do not towel dry) and place on a tray in the oven at 160C for 15 minutes, removing when you are ready to fill. This is my preferred method.
- You can put them through a dishwasher cycle, removing them from the dishwasher as soon as the cycle has finished and filling them with jam immediately afterwards. I use this method if my dishwasher happens to be going on.
- You can boil the jars and lids in a large pan for 10-15 minutes. [I’m never keen on this method as it involves boiling water and leads to a risk of scalding.]
- Finally, you can wash and rinse the glass jars, placing them into the microwave wet and then cooking them on high for 60 seconds. However, the lids would have to be boiled in a pan of water separately for 10-15 minutes as metal cannot go in the microwave. [I have never used this method as it involves 2 separate processes which I think is a bit of a faff!]
Filling the jam jars:
Finally take real care when decanting the molten jelly liquid into jars. You do not want to burn yourself, nor spill this liquid. I like to keep my jars in a metal baking tray with sides, that way if I do spill a little it doesn’t run everywhere.
I also recommend using a jam funnel. The funnel is placed on top of the empty jam jar. It has a wide lip which then funnels the hot liquid down into the jar.
Place a wax jam disc over the top of the jelly, this keeps the jam fresh and keeps air from spoiling the jelly. Seal with a tight fitting lid and set aside to cool before labelling.
How long can you store raspberry jam?
Once jarred, label and date your jars of raspberry jam. They can be stored in a cool, dry cupboard for up to a year.
Other uses for raspberry jam?
Scottish raspberry jam tastes great spread on warm toast or on freshly baked scones, which is my absolute favourite way to enjoy it.
However, don’t be limited by thinking jam can only be used as a spread! It’s great used in baking!
This Scottish raspberry jam adds a deliciously fruity element to baked cakes and tarts. I prefer raspberry jam over strawberry jam when making a simple sponge cake like a Victoria Sponge Cake.
I also love Bakewell tart, raspberry jam being a perfect match for sweet almond frangipani.
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Scottish Raspberry Jam
- Large jam pan or stock pot
- Sterlised jars
- Jam funnel (optional)
- Wax paper discs (for setting on top of jelly)
- 1 kg raspberries
- juice of one lemon
- 1 kg granulated sugar
Set up equipment
- Before you start get your equipment ready and set up. You will need a jam pan or a large stock pot for boiling the jam.
- Sterilise your jars and lids (ensure lid is separate to jar). My preferred method is to put them through a cycle in my dishwasher, unloading them while still hot onto an ovenproof tray. Place them in an oven at 170C/150CFan until needed.
- Place a saucer in the freezer for testing the jam later.
Make the raspberry jam
- Gently wash the raspberries and place them in a large stock pot. Juice the lemon and add to the raspberries and place them on the hob over a medium heat. [Raspberries are not naturally high in pectin so lemon juice is added to the jam to help it set. See further note on sugar in the recipe post.]
- Once the raspberries come to a simmer they will soften and the juices will start to run. Add the sugar to the fruit and gently stir through until dissolved. Once the fruit has softened mash the fruit down to the consistency that you like to eat. Some people like a smoother jam, others prefer to leave some of the fruits whole, it is entirely personal choice.
- Now increase the heat and bring to the boil to get a good rolling boil. This is really important as a rolling boil is required to get the jelly to the right temperature for setting. Try not to stir the liquid as stirring will only reduce the temperature. As you are heating the liquid skim off an scum that may appear, whilst doing you no harm it doesn't look good once set. You want to achieve a nice clear jam.
Testing the set of the jam
- Here comes the difficult bit, knowing when to take the jam off the heat. There are a number of tests, if using a jam thermometer the setting point for jam is around 104.5C/220F. Use a jam thermometer to let you know when the jam is ready.
- It is then worth doing the wrinkle test. If you placed a plate in the freezer before you started making jam, take it out when you think it is almost ready to set. Spoon some jam onto the cold plate, pop it back in the freezer for a minute or two, then take it back out and push the jam with my finger to see if it wrinkles. If it does then the jam is ready.
- If you want a really firm set the wrinkle will stay in place after you have removed your finger. [This is the most difficult part of the process and it is something that becomes easier over time as your begin to know what to look for.]
- When ready to pot up, remove the pan from the heat, skim off any remaining scum and set the pan aside for 10 minutes to cool a little. By allowing the jam to sit, the fruit will settle a little and this results in better distribution of fruit when you come to pot up the jam.
- Now pot the jam into the sterilised jars. Take care as the liquid is very hot, use a jam funnel over the top of the jars to get the jam cleanly into the jars and avoid spillage. Next place a wax paper disc on top as it prevents the jam drying out and also stops any mould from forming. Seal tightly with a screw on lid and set aside to cool. Once cool label the jam and store in a cool, dry place. The jam should keep for at least year stored like this.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •Share on Facebook
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