Easy Raspberry Jam With Frozen or Fresh Berries

Easy raspberry jam in a small glass jar with toast nearby

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Maceration: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 48 servings
Yields: 3 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
38 Calories
0g Fat
10g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 48
Amount per serving
Calories 38
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 0g
Calcium 3mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This simple, two-ingredient raspberry jam recipe has an intense flavor that requires no added pectin and produces a small batch of three cups or three half-pints. When you have a bumper crop of homegrown raspberries, try making this jam with them. Raspberries have such a short shelf life, and they are rather delicate, so jam is a good use for them. If you don't have a garden full of berries, fresh from the market or frozen raspberries will do just as well.

The recipe has a lot of sugar, but it's not just to add required sweetness. Sugar acts as the preservative element to extend the shelf life of the jam. It's also needed to gel the jam; if you reduced the amount of sugar, you would need to use pectin to get the jam to set up, because raspberries, like strawberries, are not naturally very high in pectin.

The equipment you will need for this recipe includes a large pot, potato masher, canning jars and lids, and a water process canner or alternative sterilization set-up

Ingredients

  • 4 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for raspberry jam

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Combine the raspberries and sugar in a large stainless steel or enameled non-reactive pot. Cover and let them sit overnight. This maceration time releases the juices from the fruit and shortens the cooking time.

    Raspberries and sugar combined in an enamel pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Sterilize the canning jars by boiling for 10 to 15 minutes in a hot water bath. Prepare the canning lids according to their directions.

    Sterilizing the canning jars by boiling them in a pot of water

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Mash the fruit and sugar mixture with a potato masher to break up the berries. Place a plate in the refrigerator to chill for the gel test.

    Raspberries and sugar mashed in a pot with a potato masher

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Bring the jam mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring often.

    Boiling the jam mixture in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. If foam forms on the surface, skim it off with a metal spoon or skimmer. Continue to boil, stirring, until the mixture reaches the gel point. If you use a candy thermometer, this is around 215 F.

    Cooking raspberry jam in pot, with candy thermometer and wooden spoon in the pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Test your jam to see if it has gelled by taking the chilled plate, adding a spoonful of jam, and placing it in the freezer for 2 minutes. When you take it out, it is properly gelled if it doesn't run down the chilled plate, and when you drag your finger through it, the path remains intact.

    Jam on a chilled plate to test whether it has set

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Ladle the jam into the sterilized jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Cover with canning lids and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

    Jars with raspberry jam processing in a boiling water bath

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Remove from the water bath and let drain on a towel-lined work surface. After you hear the "popping sound" indicating suction and a good seal, tighten the bands. Let cool completely and store in a cool, dark place for no more than a year for best flavor.

    Raspberry jam in jars on a towel

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

What Is the Best Way to Wash Raspberries?

Raspberries are very delicate, and if you run them under cold water they will undoubtedly get squished and lose the little structure that they have. There are a few schools of thought on this. One suggests placing them in a colander or fine-mesh sieve and gently run cool water over them. Then, remove them to a clean kitchen towel, perhaps lined on a rimmed baking sheet if you're worried about them rolling away, and gently pat them dry with paper towels.

If the raspberries look extra delicate, which can be the case in the height of summer, especially if you have picked them yourself, place them in a colander and gently submerge the colander in cool water. Swish them around a little and lift the colander out. Dry as directed, on a towel-lined baking sheet.

Tips

  • If you don't want to go through the canning process, you can simply refrigerate the jam for up to three weeks or freeze it for up to one year.
  • Look for very ripe fresh raspberries, as they will lend the most flavor to the jam. Cooking underripe berries won't make them taste better.
  • Frozen raspberries are a good choice as they are often frozen when they are very ripe. If you're worried about fruit that has been sprayed with chemicals or pesticides, you can find organic frozen berries at most supermarkets.