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Raspberry Jam without Added Pectin

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Homemade raspberry jam is one of life's simple pleasures. This recipe post shares detailed step-by-step instructions about how to make and can your own raspberry jam without added pectin.

I’ve been waiting for years to get enough raspberries from my yard to make jam, and the time has finally come. I was so excited to make this jam. After making a batch of strawberry jam a few weeks ago that came out too sweet for my taste, I scoured cookbooks and the internet for a raspberry jam recipe that didn’t have added pectin, didn’t have white sugar, and didn’t sound too sweet.

When a honey-sweetened jam is too sweet, it tastes like honey instead of the fruit base. I want to taste the fruit. I came across a few leads, but nothing sounded like the perfect solution. So I came up with my own combination of ingredients and a strategy for finding just the right sweetness (*see note at the bottom). I used two ripe peaches and some honey to get it just so, and I am happy to report that everyone loved it.

Raspberry Jam

This raspberry jam without added pectin is an easy summer recipe.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:1 hr
Canning Time:20 mins
Total Time:1 hr 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds red raspberries
  • 2 ripe peaches peeled
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup honey or to taste

Instructions

  • Rinse the berries and discard any that are bruised. Place the berries in a large pot with a heavy bottom.
  • Submerge the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water and submerge them in cold water. Cut each peach in half, and then it should be very easy to remove the skin. Chop the peaches and place them in the pot with the berries.
  • Add the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of honey.
  • Cook over medium heat, partially covered, for 20 minutes. The mixture will become very watery early on, and it will thicken as you cook it.
  • After the first 20 minutes, mash the fruit with a potato masher.
  • Simmer uncovered for another 30-40 minutes, stirring regularly. Taste the jam and see if it seems too tart. If it does, add another 1/4 cup of honey. If it still seems too tart, add another 1/4 cup of honey for a total of one cup of honey. (I would have stopped at 3/4 cup honey if it were just me eating it, but I knew my family would appreciate that last 1/4 cup.)
  • After a total of 50-60 minutes on the stove, you will notice that the jam looks nice and thick. You can test if it’s done by taking a teaspoonful of jam and dropping it back into the pot. If the jam runs right off the spoon, it’s not quite done. If it's a bit sluggish running off the spoon, it’s done.
  • To can this recipe, sterilize four half-pint jars, lids, bands, and a spoon by running them through the dish washer and timing them to be done when you’re ready for them. You'll probably only need three jars, but it's good to have an extra one ready just in case. The lids should be sterilized in hot but not boiling water (180 degrees) if you don’t use the dishwasher to sterilize them.
  • While the jam is cooking, boil a big pot of water with a canning rack at the bottom of the pot. The water needs to cover the jars by at least an inch.
  • With the sterilized spoon, scoop the jam into the hot jars without touching the inside of the jars with your finger. You don’t want to introduce any bacteria to the jam’s environment. A wide canning funnel facilitates this process.
  • Leave 1/4 inch head space at the top of the jars and put the lids on top of each jar. Don’t touch the bottom of the lid.
  • Loosely screw on the bands until they are just connected. You need to leave them loose so they process correctly.
  • Carefully place the jars in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat after 10 minutes and leave the jars in the water for 5 more minutes.
  • Take the jars out and place them on the counter. Within seconds, you should hear a little “pop” coming from each jar. This is the sign that they have sealed properly.

Nutrition

Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 66mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 48
Calories: 67kcal
Cost: $.40 per serving

Raspberry Jam Price Breakdown

This batch of jam costs $9.48 to make, or $3.16 per half-pint jar. If you grow your own berries, it only costs $1.16 per jar. This is an amazing price for an artisan-quality, real food, homemade batch of raspberry jam. I couldn’t find a store-bought version of raspberry jam that didn’t have sugar or pectin, but this quantity of Stonewall Kitchen raspberry jam would cost $15.90.

*Note: A few sources I read cautioned against making up your own jam recipes for canning. They stated that it is important to get a certain combination of fruit acidity and sugar for the safety of the final product. After much searching, I couldn’t find any raspberry jam recipes that I was happy with, so I put this one together. Raspberry is a high-acid fruit with its own natural pectin, and honey is a natural form of sugar. I threw in a little lemon juice just to be safe because lemon juice helps to kill bacteria. These jars lasted many months without a problem in my pantry.

Here’s a great way to use this jam: Raspberry Jam Bars

16 Comments

  1. Do you have an estimate for about how many CUPS of raspberries this uses? I pick my own raspberries, so I”m not sure what quantity to use in this recipe.

  2. I love making jam! I usually use Pomona’s Pectin because it’s all natural and doesn’t require much sugar (1/4-1/2 cup depending on the fruit). Also, I don’t have to boil it very long. I’ve tried all kinds of methods – pectin, no pectin, homemade pectin, etc. and I always keep coming back to the Pomona’s. I love it!

  3. What a great idea. I’ve been looking for ways to can the bushels of blackberries and blueberries we have growing wild on our property. So far I’ve put it off since I refuse to use so much sugar. I’m thinking maybe something like this would work with them as well since they have a decent acid level as well. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Leah. You are very lucky to have so many wild berries on your property. I hope this method works for you – a mixed berry jam would be delicious!

  4. Between the raspberries and lemon juice being so high acid, and the long cooking time, I’m sure this jam will be perfectly safe. I love the color! I sometimes use the book, “Stocking Up” from the Rodale Food Center when I’m looking for recipes with little or no sugar for canning.

    1. I agree that it would be hard for bacteria to get into this jam. Thank you so much for the book recommendation! I look forward to seeing their recipes.

    1. I’m new to canning, but I think this would work well with strawberries. Blueberries are so sweet that I would love to find a recipe that uses no (or almost no) sweetener for them.

  5. I like the idea of adding the peaches and the honey. I bet it was delicious. I suppose if anyone was worried about the food chemistry at all, they could freeze it as a freezer jam.

    1. You’re right about freezing it. I’m sure it would also be good in the fridge for several weeks, and I don’t imagine it would last longer than that in my house.

  6. What a great idea to add peaches! I’m looking forward to canning this year – and especially making jam! Love this recipe!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I look forward to seeing what kind of jam you make. I just dog-eared about a dozen recipes from a canning cookbook I took out of the library. We’ll see how many I actually get around to making.

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