Small Batch Raspberry Cointreau Jam
Jam making doesn’t have to be complicated. This small batch raspberry jam, perfumed with the rich aroma of Cointreau, comes together in a mere 30 minutes. No canning skills required!
I know lots of folks think of canning as hard work. For whatever reason, I always loved July and August, which were the peak season for putting up preserves, pickles, jams, relishes and more where I grew up.
I have fond memories of making magic in the steamy summer kitchen. Truckloads of fresh fruit and vegetables would come in from the farmer’s market. Then, with a sense of excitement, anticipation, and creativity, we would start crafting treats to enjoy throughout the lean winter months.
Perhaps my enthusiasm had something to do with the local 4-H fair. I’ve always been competitive. So, I was usually eager to create something new and different that would surprise the judges and carry the day. My proudest preserve ever was a pretty pink gooseberry jam with a twist. However, that’s a story for another day!
What I want to remind you of today is that making jam doesn’t have to be complicated or terribly time consuming. When you don’t need to store 20 jars of jam to carry you through the year, it’s actually pretty simple.
So, with gorgeous raspberries in our markets at the moment, it’s time to try your hand at a simple, delicious raspberry jam with a little bit of French flair. You’ll be surprised to learn that raspberries themselves are a low-calorie superfood! So, in small doses, this jam is also pretty good for you.
Raspberries, A Low Calorie Nutritional Powerhouse
Raspberries are a terrific source of fibre and vitamin C. Even more importantly, they’re very high in antioxidants. Hence, they fight inflammation and may reduce your risk of chronic diseases, such as:
- heart disease
- diabetes, and
Moreover, scientific studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory properties of raspberries may help with arthritis pain. They seem to help reduce both swelling and deterioration of the joints.
About this Recipe
You may be wondering why I added to Cointreau to this recipe. The answer is simple. It adds a delightful, delicately balanced orange fragrance and flavour to the jam. Personally, Cointreau is my favorite way to “dress up” raspberry jam and make it special.
However, I encourage you to get creative. Think about the herbs, spices and flavours that you like. Lots and lots of surprising flavours work really well with raspberries. So, think of jam-making as an opportunity to personalise the flavour to your liking.
Need some inspiration? Some of my favourite raspberry pairings include:
- pink peppercorns
- almond, and
Customising is one of the best parts of making homemade jam. Feel free to have fun with the recipe and try the flavours you enjoy.
Now for the practical aspects! When making jam, it is important to get the cell walls of the fruit to break down first. There are two ways of doing this:
- macerate the fruit and sugar for a period of time before cooking; or
- start cooking the fruit on medium heat first until it breaks down and starts to bubble.
Personally, advance planning is not my strong suit. So, in this recipe I’ve taken the lazy man’s route and opted to simply cook the berries before adding the sugar and lemon juice.
Be sure the berries are simmering before adding the other ingredients, if you choose this option. Otherwise, toss the berries with sugar the night before, cover the bowl with cling wrap and keep it in the fridge overnight. Proceed with the recipe the following morning.
I hope your family enjoys this homemade raspberry jam every bit as much as mine does. Bon appétit!
Other Small Batch Jam Recipes
|Spicy Small Batch Strawberry Jam|