I have always loved picking raspberries. Growing up, we would spend weeks at my Nona's house in Sparwood, BC and at my nona's house there was a garden filled with fresh vegetables and several rows of juicy and delicious raspberries. I would sit and wait for those raspberries to become ripe and then while the sun beat down on my shoulders I would walk up and down the rows searching out the plumpest and reddest raspberry to pick. I loved how they practically fell off the canes right into your hands. Their skin so tender and full that even the slightest amount of pressure at times could set their juices free.
And now, many years later, it just doesn't feel like summer if I don't get out amongst the raspberries with a bucket in hand. And each summer I freeze bag after bag of ripe raspberries so that in the depth of winter I always have summer close at hand.
My favourite raspberries jellies have always been made from frozen raspberries and my Champion Jelly at this past year's Royal Winter Fair was no different. You may be surprised when you read that frozen berries are suggested for use to make this jelly. But I have found that frozen berries (especially when you have picked them yourself from a trusted farm) give you a more intense raspberry flavour.
- 4 - 600g bags of frozen rasberries
- 7.5 cups sugar
- 2 - 3 oz pouches liquid pectin
Defrost your berries overnight in a large bowl (do not rinse). Using a potato masher, crush the berries a couple of cups at a time to release the juice.
Over medium heat in a large stainless steel pan, bring the raspberries and their juice to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the cover and gently skim off any foam. Cover once again and let the pot with the raspberries stand for at least 20 minutes.
Place a fine meshed sieve over a bowl and gently ladle the raspberries and their juice into the sieve. Don't rush this process. Let the juice fall through the sieve on it's own. Do not crush the raspberries in order to extract more juice or to extract the juice more quickly. This will lead to a cloudy jelly. Throw out the meat of the raspberries as well as the seeds. Rinse the sieve and ladle the juice once again into the sieve to catch any seeds that may have snuck through the first time.
Rinse the sieve thoroughly and line with 2 damp paper coffee filters and strain the juice once more. Again...be patient. For an extra clear jelly repeat this process once again.
Cover the juice and refrigerate over night.
Being careful to not stir up and of the sediment that may have settled on the bottom of your bowl, once again line a fine meshed sieve with a damp coffee filter and strain the juice once more. You will want 4 cups of raspberry juice in the end.
Warm your oven to 200 and place the sugar inside to warm.
In a large stainless steel pan over medium heat, heat the 4 cups raspberry juice just until it is warm. Add the warmed sugar and stir constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved. Increase to medium-high heat and while continuing to stir constantly bring to a full rolling boil (a boil that can not be stirred down). Empty the contents from both packets of pectin and stir fully. Stir constantly and once again return the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute.
Remove the pan from the heat and turn off element.
Skim off any foam and ladle into sterilized jars. Leave 1/4" headspace. Process at 200F for 10 minutes.
Yields approx: 8 - 250ml jars