Raspberry-Grand Marnier Jam
Raspberry picking season is finally upon us! Sweet, juicy, ripe red raspberries that beg to be eaten right from the plant. Those berries that do make it home usually are eaten by the handful or frozen on sheet trays, bagged and labeled for the long winter months ahead. But..... what do you do when your plants gave you more than you can handle, or when that 5 pound box called out to you at the farmers market? Make jam of course!
Homemade jam may seem like a complicated process with a million steps, but i'm here to let you know that it really isn't that hard. All you need is a few ingredients, a large stock pot, jar tongs (this is important -- I have tried kitchen tongs and they DO NOT work), some jars and, of course, fresh ripe raspberries!
Canning was a common occurrence in our house. Large backyard gardens meant an abundance of fruits and vegetables that needed proper storage for the winter. I can picture rows of red tomatoes, bread and butter pickles, pickled sweet corn and, last but certainly not least, glistening jars of concord grape jelly. The grape vines have not given me any fruit this year, but the raspberries at the farmers market are plentiful. I paired my raspberries with a splash of Grand Marnier, a small amount of grated orange peel and smooth, creamy Tonga vanilla beans. Tonga vanilla beans are a very low yield crop indigenous to the Kingdom of Tonga. They are unique and bold in flavor profile. The bean compliments the cognac of the Grand Marnier, and enhances the fruitiness of the fresh raspberries. The combination of ingredients highlights the raspberries and brings down the sweetness of the jam.
When the snow begins to fall and the farmers markets are a distant memory, Raspberry- Grand Marnier Jam will bring a little bit of summer back into your life.
Raspberry-Grand Marnier Jam
Yields 6 cups of Jam or 6- 8 ounce canning jars
- 5 cups crushed raspberries
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. orange zest
- 6 tablespoons dry pectin (approximately one box of dry pectin 1.75 oz)
- 1 Tonga vanilla bean (sliced and scraped)
- 1/3 cup Grand Marnier
Fill a large stock pot 3/4 way up with water and place on high heat. Bring to a boil. Carefully place the canning jars, lids and screw tops into the boiling water. Let boil while you are preparing the jam mixture.
Place raspberries, sugar, lemon juice and orange zest into a large saucepan. Let sit for 10 minutes, place on high heat and boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring the entire time. Remove from heat whisk in pectin, vanilla bean scrapings and Grand Marnier.
Remove jars, lids and screw caps from boiling water with canning tongs and place upside down on a paper towel to drain. Keep the water boiling. Invert the jars right side up without touching the top edge. Ladle the jam into the jars, place the round lid on and then tighten the screw top down.
Place the jars, right side up in the boiling water with the jar tong tool. Boil for 5 minutes, remove from water and place on a clean kitchen towel. Let sit and listen for the lid to pop. This is how you know that the jar is sealed and ready for shelf storage.
*If one of your jars does not seal then simply place in fridge and eat over the next 2-3 weeks. The jam in the cupboard will keep 9-12 months unopened.