Saturday, September 8, 2012

I'm a Busy Be #2 - Raspberry Jam - and my Awesome Colander

Earlier this summer I made some Raspberry Jam - My Dad and I had talked and he said that he liked Raspberry Jam, but he did not like the seeds - so I made him his very own jar of seedless Jam.  (There were a few seeds, but not like a normal Jar.)  When I went to visit him this summer, we ate the jam and we talked about how I had made it seedless - the process was actually pretty time consuming, and wasteful, and difficult - So, he suggested that I get one of these lovely sieve's - Grandma had one, and he said that it would help to get rid of a lot of the seeds.

SO, I did get acquire one of these lovely Wear-ever #8, Aluminum beauties.  And I even found a local place to pick Raspberries so I could try it out.  (You can look up Cornaby's in Spanish Fork - until the First Frost, you can pick all the raspberries you want and it's only $3.00 per pound that you pick!)  So, I found that the process was a little messier than I had first anticipated.  It was a lot easier to squish the raspberries than the potato masher that I had been using, but it was still pretty messy - especially since I was trying to go "seedless".  We attempted coffee filters to help so I would just get the juice, but the awesome masher just gripped onto those and they didn't stay very well on the sides of the colander - so we did a double strain with a smaller strainer.

And this is what we came up with - 4.5 cups of Raspberry juice and a few seeds.  The picture on the left is when it is first in the Pot - on the right is when we first have it starting to cook down with a little butter added to keep foaming down.  I made sure that I had my 5.5 cups of sugar and Pectin ready to go - and My jars and lids were in some really hot water just waiting to be used. 

Then I added the Pectin and brought my lovely raspberries to a Rolling boil - which takes a little bit of time.  I have found that The kids don't seem to have a lot of patience for this - well, Kadoodle does, but D-man not so much yet.
Then I added the 5.5 cups of sugar -  and I cooked it down until it looked all dark and foreboding - like a brooding bloody mixture of awesomeness - However, this is when I noticed that more seeds had gotten through than I had first anticipated.  So, it was back to that "Strain at the end" method.  I got out my thin strainer and when things were finished cooking - I put my thin strainer over the wide mouth funnel and strained the hot liquid into jars. BEHOLD! You can almost see the difference between my "Almost seedless" jar and my other Jars - and this is after I had gotten a lot of seeds out before I even cooked them.

I think that my only disappointment with this turn out is that It only yielded 3.5 pints of cooked Jelly.  I think that it should have made more - but it didn't.  It was a lot of work to yield that few jars - no wonder people leave the seeds in.  So, I think that in the future I will probably just keep cooking the Jam WITH the seeds but strain out a Jar just for my dad.

On a side note - now what do I do with this awesome colander?  I need ideas!  Feel free to let me know what you think that I can use it for - I can't wait to mash up some strawberries with this baby!

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