Thursday, 21 January 2010

Fresh Raspberry and Vanilla Jam

Scotland is known for its prolific berry farms. Brambles, tayberries, blaeberries, blackcurrants and raspberries both grow wild and are farmed throughout - the cooler summers and long days apparently encourage their sweetness. This week I am clearing out my freezer, which mostly means a week of eating portions of frozen chilli and left-over curry. However, hidden deep under the frozen spinach are two bags of raspberries picked and flash-frozen at the height of season last autumn and crying out to brighten this winter's day.

This is no jam in the traditional sense of the word - fruit boiled up for an age and preserved in jars (lovely though that can be). This fruity concoction is somwhere between a fruit compote and a fresh sauce that will liven up any breakfast with only a few minutes work.
Don't expect this raspberry jam to last forever, without the boiling process, it is not preserved! If it is not eaten within hours (which in my house it invariably is), it will keep in the fridge for about a week. Do expect it to be a little runnier than traditional jam - it needs a spoon rather than a knife to spread but the fresh zingy raspberry flavour is more than worth the minor inconvenience. If you are using frozen raspberries, defrost before cooking.

Not so much a recipe but a suggestion for: 
Raspberry and Vanilla Jam
Equal quantities of raspberries and caster sugar
For 2 punnets of raspberries (approx 200g) you will need either 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 160C.
Place the raspberries in an oven proof dish.
Place the caster sugar in another oven proof dish.
Heat the raspberries and sugar in the oven for around 10 minutes until warmed through.
Watch carefully to ensure the sugar does not burn.
Remove both from the oven and whisk together with the vanilla seeds or extract.
Allow to cool then store in the fridge for a week.


  1. Wow. This sounds FANTASTIC. Can you do it with strawberries or blueberries? And if the fruit isn't frozen, is there any adjustment in the cooking time? I can't wait to try this!!

  2. Hey Rona, It works best with raspberries because they break down quickly before the sugar burns. I have never tried it with blueberries - will try it out today and let you know.

  3. Blueberry jam worked beautifully and is gorgeous, I used freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of vanilla which helped it reach a good set. The blueberries needed squashed through the sugar as they didn't break down as much as raspberries do.

  4. HOORAY! I'm so going to try it!!