Hugh’s prize-winning raspberry fridge jam

River Cottage

Hugh, whose recipe this is, thinks the secret of success is to pick the raspberries on a hot, dry day, aiming for a good mixture of ripe and almost-ripe fruit, then to make the jam immediately — to capture the full flavour of the berries.

Low-sugar jams of this type are often called fridge jams.

In fact, as long as it is capped when still above 90°C, this preserve will keep well in the store cupboard.

However, once it is opened, you must keep it in the fridge.

It won't last long after opening — maybe two or three weeks - but as it tastes so very, very good, this is unlikely to be a problem.

It's one of those things you'll find yourself eating straight from the jar, maybe in the middle of the night!
 
This light, soft jam is fantastic in cakes or sherry trifles or stirred into creamy rice puddings.

Best of all, layer it with toasted oatmeal, cream, Drambuie and honey for a take on the traditional Scottish pudding, cranachan.

Makes 6 x 340g jars:

1.5kg raspberries
750g jam sugar with added pectin

Directions:

Start by picking over the raspberries very carefully and discarding any leaves or stalks.

Put half the fruit into a preserving pan and use a potato masher to roughly crush it.

Add the remaining fruit and sugar (the mixture will look mouth-wateringly good).

Stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar.

Bring to a rolling boil then boil for exactly five minutes. (If you prefer a firmer jam, then continue boiling at this stage for a further 2—3 minutes).

Remove from the heat, stirring to disperse any scum.

It is important to pour and cap this low-sugar jam quickly, but you must allow it to cool just a little first (give it 5—6 minutes) to prevent all those little raspberry pips rushing to the top of the jar, leaving you with half a jar of raspberry jelly and half a jar of raspberry pips.

Variation:

Flavourful ripe strawberries give very good results with this simple recipe too.

Hull the strawberries, halve or quarter larger ones and continue as above.

• By Pam 'the jam' Corbin, author of the River Cottage Preserves Handbook - available signed by the author in the River Cottage online shop.