Raspberry and Orange Jam

Raspberry & Orange Jam A The Patterned Plate

There are a few occasions, where you are allowed to feel smug and thoroughly satisfied with your lovely, clever self. For me, preserving is one of them. I won’t mention the others. Row upon row of pretty coloured bottles, with neat, trim labels of homemade jams, jellies, preserves, conserves and chutneys make me feel hedonistically good about myself. If ever I have a dip in confidence during the day, a look at that jar laden shelf, restores me to balance. Do not underestimate the power wielded by food, in any capacity. Kingdoms have been won, or bought, over a groaning table laden with good eats. Not to mention many a courtship.

I had a bag of frozen raspberries and some oranges that were starting to look a little less pert, so I decided to throw them together and the result was deliciously tangy and fruity with more than just a bit of boiled sweetie in the taste. The good thing about this is that you can alter the amount of orange you want in the mix. I used two medium sized ones here, which makes the orange flavour a big player in the final product, but you could just as easily restrict it to one citrus and have more of a raspberry dominance. So if you haven’t had a go before, I encourage you to give it a try. It might go belly up but that’s why you should keep the quantities small. Enough for a jar or two to begin with.

Here are some pointers, should you be new to this business…

Soft fruit  (raspberries, strawberries and the like) can be a bit problematic when it comes to setting point (usually a 106 deg C) and that’s because of a lack of pectin, which is the natural setting agent. To compensate, a tablespoon or two of lemon juice does the job as well as offering a piquant counterpoint to the sweetness of the fruit.

Jam sugar, which has pectin added to it already, helps a fair bit in this regard, but it isn’t necessary. I prefer a soft set jam and I think it’s better for it, as you are not chasing the elusive setting point, overcooking your mixture. You might as well go full throttle and make pastilles in that case. A soft set jam, ready at about a temperature of 104-105 deg C still retains the natural flavours of the fruit, while still being glossy and moist.

If you see the colour of the jam starting to darken a fair bit and can smell caramel tones, you have overcooked your mixture. Traditional jam making required the preserves to keep for at least a year, and as a result an equal weight of sugar to the fruit was used. I prefer making smaller batches, which means it doesn’t need to keep that long. So I reduce the sugar level to half of that of the fruit. I think you can also really taste the fruit in this case, rather than the sugar. But feel free to use more if you like, its no biggie.

Make sure your sugar is completely melted before you start boiling the mix or it will crystallise.

Also, here, I have used frozen raspberries, as the fresh ones here are so extortionate, that they render any ideas of preserving as reckless. You might as well save a fortune and buy  jam.

American canning methods involve boiling the filled cans in a hot water bath. British methods, I think, are far easier! Decant the hot jam into cleaned, dry, warm jars and seal with the lid.

That’s it. I haven’t had any preserves spoil doing it this way. Do as you see fit.

So here we go. I warn you, there are a lot of pictures. I am a bit addicted to the camera, and jam is a beautiful subject. The one way to use this beautiful ruby coloured, seed speckled jam is to slap them onto buttery scones. I have tried a few recipes and after some very hearty recommendations I tried this one, by Rachel Allen. They were right, the scones were buttery, light, quick and easy to make. The buttermilk gave it a delicious tang and kept the crumb tender, tender, tender. Whatever you do, handle the dough as little as you, to get the fluffiest scones. So there you have it! If you are a seasoned hand at preserving I would love to hear of your favourite combinations, or if  you had faith and made this one,  whatever the outcome, do let me know about it. Just so that I can be part of that delicious feeling of self- satisfaction.

Raspberry & Orange Jam

400g frozen raspberries
1 medium orange, zest and juice (add the juice of one more, if you like)
250 gm sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
3 x 250 ml jars

Put the frozen berries, orange juice, zest and sugar into a large, non-metallic bowl. Mix well, cover and leave to macerate for 2 hours, until the berries are defrosted, soft and have released their juices.

When the time is up, wash your jars with hot, soapy water, drain well and put onto a baking tray lined with an old kitchen towel. Place into an oven preheated to 160-170 deg C and leave there till needed. Put two small saucers into your freezer. This will come into use to check setting levels later.

Put the sugar and berry mix, into a large, heavy bottomed pot. Aluminium is not recommended as it will react with the acids. You can use enamel lined pans as long as it isn’t chipped. Stainless steel is the preferred option. Put the heat on medium and allow the sugar to melt. Depending on air temperature, this can take around 8 minutes for this mix. Mine took around 4 minutes.

Once melted and no crystals are left, turn up the heat as high as it will go. Bring to a rolling boil, scraping the surface to remove the scum. Stir frequently, to stop it catching. If you have a thermometer, then setting point will be reached at 104-105deg C. If not, then when you see the mixture thicken and the bubbles are bigger and noisier, turn down the heat and put a small blob on the frozen saucer. In half a minute, run your fingertip from one end of the blob to the other. If you see wrinkles on the surface, then setting point has been reached. If not, then boil for a bit longer, checking for setting point frequently. Mine was done in 8 minutes.

Take the pot off the heat, take your jars out of the oven and decant the jam into the jars, preferably with the use of a funnel. Close the jars with the lids tightly. Leave in a cool, dark place as light can change the colour as well as spoil the preserve.

44 thoughts on “Raspberry and Orange Jam

  1. Sarvani @ baker in disguise

    me too me too… for some reason making a jam or a marmalade makes a written off cook like me feel a bit of a domestic goddess!! :)) i love the sound of citrus in the jam… if only we got raspberries in India!! love the photographs especially where you can see the little seeds of the fruit!!!

  2. The Patterned Plate

    I am sure you are doing your cooking skills a disservice Sarvani :)
    Rasps in India are problematic for sure, but strawberries are available, no? Where abouts in India are you? Can you get frozen berries, they work just the same, though setting point may take a bit longer to reach..

  3. Hanna

    Wow always love your beautiful pictures! So never too much of them. I love making jams, but never thought of using some orange in a red jam. Love the idea, will try it for sure this summer…and maybe the idea of using frozen raspberries will work for this season. Thank you again for your lovely sparkling recipes!

  4. The Patterned Plate

    Thankyou Hanna :-) I find that oranges are a wonderful addition to any fruit really and a bit of zest thrown into a muffin, crumble etc can perk things up nicely. I hope you give it a try and like it :-)

  5. eat, little bird

    Oh wow! Beautiful, bright photos! I love the colour. I never thought to use frozen raspberries (or other fruit) in jam, but I’m glad that it’s an option. And, as you mention, a cheaper option too. I’ve also been busy making a bit of jam – we go through so much and it’s always so much better to have homemade. Have you ever tried making jam with jam sugar? I bought a packet a while back but found that lemon juice did the trick perfectly. Though, I would be curious to try …

    1. The Patterned Plate

      Thanks Thanh :-) The jam I’ve made here is made with jam sugar. Really there isn’t too much differnce between that and using normal sugar and a bit of lemon juice. YOu can also buy pectin in a bottle or in packets to add, which comes in handy if you want to make things like pastilles. But honestly, some lemon juice and normal sugar, are fine.

      Frozen fruits may take a little longer to set, that’s all, but with the soft berries, I think they are at their best when they are soft set. The flavour is actually rather delicate and even a wee bit of overcooking can render that lost. So, I keep it fairly soft and don’t let setting points worry me :-)

      1. eat, little bird

        Ah good to know! I might use the jam sugar next time, but I do like the flavour which lemon juice gives. I also like a fairly soft-set jam, which often means not following jam recipes and taking the pot off the heat once you think it is a consistency which you like. I haven’t tried the combination of raspberries and orange but they sound like the perfect pairing!

  6. whatiatelastnight

    A beautiful array of pics, and a very tasty looking jam – I love those jars! *scurries off to check on ebay*

  7. The Patterned Plate

    Heya Regan!! Lovely to ‘see’ you here :-) The jars are Weck Jars and I ADORE them! These I got gifted by another lovely blogger pal ..you might know her..:-) But you get these jars in Lakeland too. I warn you, they are beautiful and come with a price to match, in comparison to normal ones, but oh, so pretty!! :-D

  8. Terry

    Really enjoyed this……the colors and flavors jump right out of the screen. And of course the jars……no words, just they are fantastic!

  9. bettybobkin

    Gorgeous ! And I find that having jam made from soft fruits is such a wonderful evocation of summer in the many months of the year when it seems as if that season will never comne again. I used to make punds and punds of jam, but make much less these days of course, no longer having a hungry family to feed. However, I do sometimes indulge in the summer and make a little batch of “instant” style raspberry, which I keep in the fridge rather than potting up to keep.

    1. The Patterned Plate

      LOL I got it, I love making ‘punds’ of jam too, but don’t really make massive batches anymore. You are right though, it heralds in the summer time and all that’s good, light and fruity LOL…That’s why I love the use or orange on summer berries, I think that fruity citrus note is very summery. Lemon juice would be lovely too, but there is something distinctly sunny about fresh oranges.

  10. Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

    Caroline! These photos are gorgeous! I’ve never attempted jellies or jams, but your cute little jars of razzie goodness are amazing!! This is probably the most visually stimulating blog I follow. I could look at these pictures all day :) I may have to give those scones a go… I always find the prospect of scones a little intimidating but you’ve inspired me!

    1. The Patterned Plate

      Thanks Heather :-) Jam making is not really that hard, once you get a few jars on your shelves, you will be brimming with confidence and then try to wrangle getting more fruit in just to jam! At least that’s the scene in my case.
      I can still be a hit or miss on scones. I think the key thing is to handle the dough as little as possible.
      Now go on, make ’em!

  11. Jayne

    Oooo love the idea of orange and raspberry – I’ll give this a go when the raspberries come into season here :-) Beautiful photo’s too! x

  12. Sandra - The Foodie Affair

    Love your collection of jars! I have to say that my very first batch of jam made me jump for joy! I felt like I belonged in the elite cooking club ;)) I need to get more creative and try adding a few different flavors together. Your orange and raspberry combo sounds wonderful! Very inspiring :)

    1. The Patterned Plate

      Oh I know and revel in that feeling Sandra. Feel SO clever haha! This combination is wonderful and you can alter the orange to your taste. I just tasted the soaking fruit and added until I was happy with the balance.

  13. Mom

    OOOOOHHHH! So am I getting a jar of this delicious mouthwatering, my favourite (raspberry with any combo) JAM this Saturday??????

  14. Rushi!

    The only time I tried making jam was at my mom’s and that too using passionfruit. I’ve stayed away from recipes that use sugar thermometers and jam sugar (it scares me, he he) but your post made me want to conquer my fear of making jam. :) Have you ever considered selling your yummy goodies online? Hint hint hint :)

    1. The Patterned Plate

      HAHAHAHA! Oh Rushi, you are a bundle of enthusiasm! Now there’s an idea, no? You can SO make this yourself…and you don’t need Jam Sugar or Thermometers really.. just instinct :-)

  15. Sam

    Wow, your blog is amazing, all I can say lucky husband and kids who get to sample these beautiful yummy delights. You do a truly fantastic job.
    I made damson jam during my cookery classes in school and when I handed them out to family, especially my adorable grandad, he was thrilled but I wanted him to keep it forever. By the way he loved it ;)

    I might seriously consider making this jam! Can you purchase the thermometers from Lakeland aswell??

    1. The Patterned Plate

      Thankyou Sam :-) I have not had the pleasure of making damson jam or chutney for that matter, both of which are so celebrated. Bless your grandad :-D It feels so good to hand out to people, doesn’t it?

      Lakeland currently have two thermometers on the go. One is the Kitchencraft, traditional thermometer like the one pictured here. The new kind is a sorta needle inserted into a spoon, so you can mix the jam and still have a reading at the same time, which actually sounds rather convenient as these older ones are more cumbersome and trying to manoeuvre round them through a boiling sugar mixture is a touch stressful. Have a look and see what you think. The new one, would also be very good for making confectionary, which I do in smaller quantities.

  16. Pamela

    Beautiful pictures as always and the jam looks delish. If I may say so, I like a spot of jam making myself!! I love the way you have highlighted two important things about jam making. First, that you don’t need vast quantities of fruit. I think we all have this image of jam-making as a means to use up a glut of fruit, and old-fashioned recipes often have huge weights of fruit listed, but these days you can make a jar of jam with just one punnet of any type of fruit. Second, hurrah for championing the soft set! So many recipe instructions go on and on about boiling away to reach setting point, as if your jam will be rubbish unless you hit this critical temperature. I have ended up with so many jars of jam that you can barely get a spoon into, as I have been too conscious about my jam not being ‘done’. Experience has now taught me to kill the heat that little bit before the temperature has been reached, because the jam will thicken when it has cooled anyway!

    1. The Patterned Plate

      Spot on Pamela! Agree with all that you say. Modern living means that people don’t usually have direct access to vast amounts of fresh fruit but that doesn’t mean a bit of jam-making can’t be indulged in. Also, if it does go to pot, pardon the pun, there isn’t too much wasted. Except for marmalade, I prefer soft set jams too. Also, the fact that I can alter the sugar levels means that making jam at home IS the healthier option!

  17. Amina Shah

    love love love this post! it reminded me of my mom making plum jam at home some 20 years ago! she was visiting this summer and I bought plums that were in season and had her make it for me! DIVINE!! nothing compares to the flavor of home made jam!

    im going to link this post to my jam post if you don’t mind.

    your blog is beautiful! and your writing is so engaging and just draws me in.

  18. Pingback: Plum Jam! : Zabiha Bites

  19. Mary Jo Dolan

    I recently discovered this recipe while doing a search for setting temperature for soft set jam. I have now made 2 batches. It is delicious. I particularly like the reduced sugar option & can’t believe how good it tastes as mosly when I reduced sugar on other jam recipes they tasted bitter. Would love to have more reduced sugar jan recipes! Website is lovely, I’m delighted I found it. Thank you.

  20. Mary Vanderpump

    Just finished the last lot of delicious raspberry and orange jam and now macerating a second batch – trouble is have to make more bread to go with it or is it cake o’clock? With reduced sugar I can even eat more!

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