Yesterday, my family and I went off an a new adventure, we went raspberry pickin’!! There is a great raspberry farm in a quaint little village near us, in Corrales, NM, called Heidi’s Raspberry Farm. We all piled up and went on the hunt. Eight pints later (and probably at least as much in Luke’s tummy), I was sitting at home pondering what to do with them. It would be easy to flash freeze them and use them in smoothies, etc., but I thought it would be fun to learn a new skill. So, I decided to teach myself how to make Raspberry Jam! Oh yeah, I then needed to teach myself the art of “home preserving.”
I found a recipe online for homemade Raspberry Jam and got down to it!
I was surprised at how EASY it was! And fun! I found myself thinking of, and gaining a new appreciation for the women that came before us, and before dishwashers, microwaves and food processors… before pre-packaged foods even! I think of my almost 95 year old grandmother and what life was like for her when she was raising 5 children and making everything from scratch. I am in awe of her. The mere thought of not having my food processor makes me want to sit down!
I was VERY careful in sterilizing my jars. Maybe I better keep this first batch for myself. I don’t want to hand out Botulism as a “bonus” gift if I made a mistake :-) All kidding aside, everything worked out perfectly. The little bump in the middle of the lid went perfectly flat (indicating that it was properly sealed). I highly recommend trying to make your own jam, Sam had a blast “smooshing” all the raspberries we picked with a potato masher, then his hands… properly sanitized of course!
After making the jam, I pondered what to do with it. As much as I love Udi’s bread, that is an awful lot of toast and PB and J’s!
Old Fashioned Raspberry Bars adapted from a recipe I found on BigOven.com
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with two sheets of foil placed perpendicular to one another, and long enough to overhang pan edges. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray, or grease with butter or shortening. (Overhanging foil will serve as handles to lift the cooked bar cookies from the pan.)
- In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and rolled oats, mixing well.
- Cut in butter using a pastry blender to form a crumbly mixture, or using a mixer, beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture is crumbly, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Press 1/2 of crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
- Spread jam to within 1/4-inch of pan edge.
- Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over the top, and lightly press it into jam.
- Bake until topping is deep golden brown and filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature in baking pan on wire rack. Once cooled, remove from baking pan by lifting foil extensions, cut into bars and serve.
Variation: Use other types of jam, such as apricot preserves or even a bitter-orange marmalade.
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