This blog post was originally published on Amazon’s Al Dente blog on July 19, 2012. Since Seattle is having a wonderful berry year thanks to an abundance of sunshine, I decided to pull it from my archives and share again! Berries are also showing up at farmers markets and on sale at local grocery stores, so berry get busy!
Have you started making any jams, jellies, or preserves this summer? I haven’t gone whole hog just yet, but yesterday morning I was inspired to make a small batch of Darina Allen’s fabulously simple Raspberry Jam. Darina showed me how to make this jam when I attended her school, The Ballymaloe Cookery School located in Ireland, years ago.
I remember being fairly dumbfounded when she demonstrated it and within minutes presented the softly set aromatic jam to the class! Darina had learned how to make jam from her mother in law, Myrtle Allen, and to this day the recipe remains one of the cookery school’s classic recipes.
The recipe simply calls for fresh raspberries and sugar. Essentially, you warm the berries in a heavy saucepan and stir until they start to give off some juice. While the berries are cooking, you also gently warm the sugar in an ovenproof bowl in a low to moderate oven. Once the berries are bubbling you stir the warmed sugar into the berries, stir to dissolve the sugar and then continue to cook over moderate heat, stirring, for about five minutes.
The beauty of this recipe is that the jam is softly set and the raspberries retain their fresh berry patch aroma and flavor!
If you have ever made jam and cooked it and cooked it, then you have probably lost some of that amazing aromatic flavor naturally found in the berries.
I only made a half batch yesterday so I didn’t bother putting the jam into hot sterilized jars. I just poured it into a French mason jar and stashed it on the top shelf of the fridge. When I flip the lid back, the contents truly smell like a berry patch!
Note: I didn’t find the recipe on the school’s website, but it can be found in her cookbook, Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course.
For a great baked good using this jam, try my Jumbleberry Jam Bars
To read my NY Times travel article, In Ireland Cooking Amid the Greenery, published in January 2005.
Photo by Melissa A. Trainer
–Melissa A. Trainer