Jam in a Jar by Sous Vide

You may know I use a Joule Sous Vide for everything I possibly can. Last month I saw how to make raspberry jam with no fuss and nearly no mess. Right up my alley! By using the sous vide you avoid cooking the crap out of the berries and the fresh taste is preserved. (Pun intended.) Make this in small batches and store in the fridge. You won’t be disappointed.

My first attempt (following ChefSteps instructions exactly) resulted in a jam that was runny and separated when cool. Today, I increased the amount of pectin from 15g to 20g and the result was a thicker jam that did not separate. Once I open the jar I will decide if I should bump the pectin up another couple of grams.

Recipe, Ingredients and Method all in one.

Thoroughly mix 20g pectin, 125g granulated sugar, and 4g salt in a medium bowl. Add 354g fresh raspberries and mix well. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to extract the juices from the berries. Spoon the mixture into two 8oz mason jars and put the tops on, sealing finger tight. Place in the sous vide, set the temperature to 194F and cook for 30 minutes. It truly is that simple.

After the time is up remove the jars from the water bath and shake vigorously several times as they cool.

Small Batch Berry Jam

Confession here: I like seeds in my berry jam. I don’t know why, either some trauma forced on me by my older brother, or perhaps faded memories of my mother making jams or even some totally unrelated reason. The point is my berry jam must have seeds. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find blackberry jam with seeds? Raspberry? No Blackberry Jamproblem, but find a jar of blackberry without that insidious word “seedless” on the label? Good luck. Either you spend an inordinate amount of time searching your supermarket, or go to a farm or specialty market and shell out twice the cash. I look for BOGO’s on berries. It’s like getting jam free, almost.
Google (the worlds 42) “small batch jam” and find 461,000 results in 0.44 seconds.
I read a lot of them and boiled it down (bad pun) to this:

  • Measure equal weights (not volumes) washed berries and granulated sugar. Obviously for sweeter jam add more sugar, tarter, less. Duh.
  • Mash berries in a saucepan, heat then add sugar in small aliquots. Use a large enough saucepan or you will end up washing two of them. Been there, done that, no t-shirt.
  • Cook at a moderate boil until the temperature reaches 220 deg. and it begins to thicken. Cook less for thinner (think dessert topping) or more for thicker.
  • Skim the light colored foam off the top as it boils.
  • While it is cooking put a canning jar (about a pint size for a pint of berries, go figure) filled to about an inch from of the top with water into the microwave and cook until boiling vigorously.
  • Pour the boiling water out into a small bowl containing your canning lid and funnel.
  • Wait a minute. You aren’t really sterilizing because you will just keep this in the fridge for quick use.
  • Pour the still very hot jam into the jar using the funnel, put on the lids, screw on the top and you are done, except for the clean up. One pan, one spoon and a funnel.
  • Total time, less than 30 min.