It may sound surprising, but I make most of my jam during the winter months.
Primarily due to two reasons:
(1) Berries freeze extremely well. And since you have to mash the berries to make jam, the freezing process makes that part significantly easier.
(2) From the time the snow melts until it falls once again, I am BUSY.
Busy tending to the sudden onslaught of baby chicks, turkey poults, piglets, ducklings, and lambs.
Busy prepping the gardens and the greenhouse.
Busy cleaning coops, sheds, hauling manure, laying woodchips in the garden walkways, planting and pruning and planning.
And, as summer stretches on, I am picking wild berries of all sorts. Berry picking- while it is one of my most favorite summertime activities- is very time consuming.
But being able to sort and freeze those berries until they can be turned into jam during the winter months is not only a time-saver, but it also allows me to extend my canning season into a year-round activity rather than a seasonal one. (I’ve shared some other favorite winter canning projects previously in this post should you share my affinity for canning).
Recently, as I noticed our jam supply getting low (I have 3 kids who could live on peanut butter & jelly), I dug in the freezer for a new combo to try out on the crew.
Last summer was a bountiful one for berries, and the wild raspberries that grow just around the perimeter of my gardens filled my berry basket every day for weeks. So as I pulled a container of wild raspberries from the freezer, the bag of frozen organic mangoes stared back at me as well, just the same as it had for almost six months now.
They were purchased on a whim, with the intent of adding them to smoothies. Except I hadn’t made smoothies in a real long time, and so there they sat. And since I figured it was now or never for the mangoes, I decided to pair them with the raspberries and see how that went.
And, no surprise, this combo was a winner. Because it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong when raspberries are involved, am I right?
Of course I am.
And of course I’m going to share the recipe with you.
(adapted from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving)
- 1 1/2 cups crushed raspberries, fresh or frozen (approx. 3 cups whole)
- 3 cups peeled & chopped frozen mango
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 box Sure-Jell powdered pectin
- 5 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
Place the peeled & chopped mangoes into a sturdy bowl. Mash them as best you can with a potato masher (I used my fingers to more finely crush them). Alternately, you can dice them very small and skip the crushing step.
Combine the crushed raspberries & mangoes in a heavy-bottomed stock pot. Add in the lemon juice, pectin, and approx. 1 teaspoon butter (butter is optional, but helps reduce foaming). Stir to combine.
Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat (a boil that does not stop with stirring). Pour in the sugar and be quick to stir it in to prevent the sugar from burning to the sides of the stock pot.
Continue to stir constantly, and return to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Ladle jam into hot, sterilized pint or half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims clean and fit with prepared lids & bands.
Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
Remove from canner and allow to cool for at least 12 hours. Check seals, and then store in a cool, dry, dark place.
Makes approx. 7 half-pint jar.
P.S. If you’re in the jam/jelly making mood, why not grab my free resource below! I love using petals I’ve dried from edible flowers to make jelly during the winter months as well. Enjoy!