Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Homemade Raspberry Freezer Jam!

A couple summers ago we bought a raspberry plant at Lowes. We planted it in the easement planters that are surrounded by concrete blocks and the concrete that makes up the actual easement. We figured that this would possibly help confine the raspberries. Well that first summer we got a few berries and we thought we read that you are just supposed to cut the whole bush down to the ground every year so we did that first year. Come to find out you're only suppose to cut the fruit bearing branches down. So needless to say last summer we got honestly 2 berries and they tasted horrible!!! It was bad! I was sure we had planted the bush in bad soil or something. I mean who has trouble growing raspberries or blackberries. Seriously who actually buys and plants blackberry bushes! We saw them at the store and thought that was crazy!! 

Anyways we let those non-fruit bearing branches be and we waited for this summer. 

Holy cow!!! Our raspberry bush has quadrupled in size. There are literally hundreds of berries. When they first started growing Michael decided to coil them up and stake them like we've seen the raspberry bushes on the way to my parents house. As if you can tell now though....they are so heavy I can't imagine what the bush would look like if he hadn't done that. 

I took these pictures a couple days after I picked the berries I needed for my jam and there are probably enough berries for me to make another batch. I just need to go to the store and buy more pectin. 

I picked a whole bowl full and then washed them in batches. About 3 batches so most likely it was around 3 cups of berries. 


Then I mashed them in batches as well with my potato masher! 

The instructions I had said to measure out 1 cup of mashed berries with seeds and then the second cup without seeds. So I mashed them again through strainer. 

I measured out the sugar separately so I wouldn't lose count and mess everything up. It took 4 cups of sugar!!!!

Here's my 2 cups of mashed raspberries! 

An island of sugar! I stirred that in and let it sit for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Then I added the pectin and the 2 tbsp of lemon juice and stirred for 3 minutes. 

I had already prepared my jars so I poured the jam in and then let them sit on the counter for a day and then popped them in the freezer. The post I found on Pinterest told me to put them in Ziploc bags and lay them flat to freeze, but then they aren't nearly as cute if you want to give them away as gifts! I definitely want to make one more batch and I'm sure we'll still have lots of berries to enjoy. 

This is by far my most favorite thing about gardening...I love being able to save the food we grow and use it throughout the year. I feel so pioneer like! Now I just need Michael to make me a few more garden beds so we can become more and more self sustaining!