Over the last month I've been slowly trying to wrap up unfinished projects, purge unused things out of the house and overall just simplify my home and my life. Progress has been really slow and for a long time even though I was getting things checked off the list, the difference was not noticeable, but yesterday night I walked through the house and felt lighter. It's amazing the things you find when you undertake something like this. I have boxes filled with bits and pieces of places and activities from years ago. Things I'd forgotten I'd done and places I'd forgotten I'd been. A trail map from a hike I took with my sister in the middle of nowhere. A ticket stub from a show where my friend and I got drenched and then walked around downtown trying to find a restaurant that wouldn't mind seating us even though we were dripping wet. A set of vintage baking pans I picked up in a tiny town on a weekend trip with a friend. And more unfinished craft projects then I can even begin to tell you. I've been giving a lot of things away (my friend Joy, who I've been piling a lot of my things onto, is starting to joke that I'm slowly taking over her house), but I like the idea of finding my things a good home. I acquired most of them because I liked them and it makes me feel better knowing that someone else will use and love them instead of letting them gather dust in a closet somewhere.
I've been going through my pictures and my files on the computer too when I found these. I made this jam this summer when a trip to the farmer's market yielded a case of gorgeous black raspberries. I know it's unfair to post it now, seeing as how raspberries of any color are long since out of season, but as I said, I'm cleaning the rafters. You can always earmark this for next year if you'd like and I'll definitely be making this again next summer.
If you never had black raspberries you're definitely missing out. They're full of antioxidants, are as dark as blackberries, have the same shape as raspberries, but different from both in taste. Sweeter and not as tart, they just need a bit of sugar and lemon juice to make a beautiful jam. I made macarons using my favorite recipe from Tartlette
and filled the shells with this jam, which was amazing, but it would also be lovely on toast or a buttery croissant.
Black Raspberry Jam
3 pounds black raspberries
2.5 cups sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Sterilize about ten 8oz jars by either washing them in hot soapy water and then "cooking" them in the oven for a few minutes, or by running them through the dishwasher on "sterilize" setting (my preferred lazy route).
- Dump the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice into a very large pot set over high heat. You want there to be plenty of room left in there for when the jam bubbles up. Mash the berries with a potato masher until you are happy. I don't mind seeds or chunks in my jam, so I don't worry too much about this, but if you do you may want to sieve or blend the mixture before you start.
- Bring the jam to a hard boil and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring the entire time making sure the bottom doesn't scorch, until it thickens. If you keep a spoon in the freezer you can test your set by dropping a bit of jam into the cold spoon and waiting a minute. If you nudge the chilled jam with your finger and see wrinkles, your jam is done. If it's still runny, keep cooking a few minutes longer and test again.
- Carefully ladle the hot jam into the jars and seal. Process them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes if you want to save them for later or just chill and keep in the fridge if you intend to eat them within the next week or so.