Is there anything better than raspberry jam? No, the answer is no. This Less Sugar Cooked Raspberry Jam Recipe is sure to make your PB&J do a happy dance all the way to your belly!
My aunt has an incredible raspberry patch that grows along a small stream at her house. It produces gallons and gallons of raspberries a year. She has always generously given lots of them to my mother so I grew up eating delicious raspberry freezer jam and got addicted. Now I’m a bit of a jam snob.
Meanwhile, while I was growing up eating lots of delicious raspberry freezer jam, my husband was growing up 3 hours north of me, eating lots of raspberry cooked jam. His family lived near Bear Lake which is famous for delicious raspberries and his mom always picked or purchased flats of them each summer to make loads of cooked raspberry jam.
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Now that we’re married I make both types to keep the nostalgia alive for both of us. I like freezer just a little bit better because it tastes so fresh, but this Less Sugar Cooked Raspberry Jam is a VERY close second. It’s awesome and with Less sugar, it not only is a little better for you, but without the extra sugar the taste of the raspberries really comes shining through.
One of the reasons I love having cooked jam on hand, besides being my husbands hero, is because it doesn’t take up freezer space, and is great for food storage.
When I first saw the No sugar/Less sugar packages of pectin, I thought, “Ew, these probably have a nasty aftertaste and use sugar substitutes.” I wasn’t entirely wrong. They do offer the option of using sugar substitutes, but they also have recipes for using less regular sugar. That is what I do and we LOVE IT!
Sometimes people get discouraged at the idea of making cooked jam because they think they’ll have to process it. Well, take it from me who took it from my mother-in-law, who has made cooked jam at least 100,000 times in her day (Did I mention my husband is 1 of 10.) You do not have to process the jam. If you get it into the jars quickly while it is still really hot and get the lid and rim on securely. It will seal on it’s own. Yes, folks, on it’s own…no getting out all the crazy canning stuff. HALLELUJAH!
I do it this way all the time now.
Alright. Lets get you started, whether you are a jam pro, or this is your first time. You will love how simple this jam is too make and you will especially love eating it and feeding it to your family knowing it has less sugar than other jams.
- 10 cups of raspberries (this will make 5 cups once you crush them.)
- 1 box Sure Jell No Sugar Needed Pectin (it is in a pink box. see picture above)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp butter or margarine
- 2 quart jars or 4 pint jars clean and prepared
- lids and rings for jars (lids need to be heated before placing on top of filled jars, I do this by keeping a small saucepan on another burner and putting the lids in an inch of water. When I add the sugar to the boiling fruit mixture I turn the burner on so the lids will be hot and ready when the jam is finished.)
- Measure the sugar into a medium size bowl and set aside. Measurements need to be EXACT when making jam.
- Crush berries in a blender or with a potato smasher until completely crushed. Measure them one cup at a time into a large sauce pan (at least 4 quart) until you have measured all 5 cups.
- Add 2 tsp lemon juice and stir.
- Add ¼ cup of the sugar from the bowl you pre-measured and also add the pectin package.
- Stir well and turn burner on to medium high.
- Keep stirring continuously until fruit mixture comes to a boil. When it is at a full boil (boiling doesn't stop when you stir it)
- Add the remaining sugar form the bowl you pre-measured and add the 1 tsp butter or margarine.
- Stir in and bring back to a full boil. Boil for exactly 1 min ( I have my timer pre set so all I have to do is press start)
- When full minute of boiling is over remove from heat and pour into prepared jars. Remember to have your lids boiling in a small pan on the stove so they will be ready as soon as you pour the jam in and wipe the tops of the jars.
- As soon as you get the jam into your prepared jars have a clean wet cloth ready to wipe the rims of the jars to make sure no sugar or jam is on them at all. Clean rims help guarantee that your bottles will seal.
- Use a fork or small tong to get the hot lid out of the small sauce pan and place it on the clean rim. Quickly add the ring and screw it on tightly. If you need to move the jar from where it is, Carry it very carefully by the rim to a flat space (I use my counter with a clean towel on it.) and let it set there for at least 18-24 hours untouched or until it seals and is completely cool. Do not touch the top to see if it is sealed for at least 12 hours. You should hear a pop sound within 2 hours of the jam being in the jar. That sound means the jar has sealed.
- If for some reason your jars do not seal by following this method. You will need to process them. I have never not had one seal.
- Also remember that if a jar does not seal and you don't want to process is. You can just keep it in your fridge for up to 4 weeks.