When I was in undergrad, I enjoyed an amazing raspberry lavender jam from a local farm in my college town. Ever since leaving, I have been thinking about recreating a raspberry lavender jam but was not sure how to go about it. In my recipe research, I found what looked like a good starting point. It was a very simple jam making method with only two ingredients- sugar and raspberries. No fruit pectin, and no citric acid. Apparently, the natural fruit pectin in raspberries along with the sugar is enough to nicely thicken the jam, and the sugar with acidity from lemon juice is enough of a preservative to make the jam last weeks. The lack of added pectin also lets the natural raspberry flavor stand out more.
To start, I halved the sugar from the basic raspberry jam recipe I used as a reference, and added lemon juice for some acidity in flavor as well as a preservative. Of course, I also added lavender and was not sure how the flavor would come out in the final jam. I was so happy with the result. The rich raspberry flavor takes center stage, but the floral lavender is unmistakable. The use of a sachet prevents the jam from being overwhelmed with lavender buds, but the small sprinkle of buds at the end of cooking ensures its prevalence of flavor over the life of the jam. The balance of sugar to berries is very nice. It’s not too sweet, yet just sweet enough, and is enhanced by a bite of acidity from the lemon juice. Enjoy spread on toast, bagels, on pancakes, in crepes, or anything else that could be a vehicle for a new preserve spread addiction. I know I will be…
- 3 cups fresh raspberries
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, I used organic evaporated cane sugar, but regular white sugar is fine as well
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- ½ cup culinary lavender, wrapped and tied in a cheese cloth sachet plus 1 teaspoon
- Place the berries in a large stainless steel pot, muddling with a wooden spoon on high heat. Bring to a boil and let boil for one minute, stirring constantly so as not to burn the berries.
- Add the sugar, lemon juice, and lavender sachet, and boil on medium high heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. The mixture will have a lot of liquid and red foam. After approximately 5 minutes, the mixture will begin to jell. It will take on a jewel-like translucency as it reduces, sticking to a spoon and becoming very viscous. This is how you know the jam is done.
- Take the jam off the heat and remove the lavender sachet, discarding. Place the remaining teaspoon of lavender in the pot, sprinkling and crushing between your fingers to release the oils. Stir to incorporate.
- Remove to sterilized canning jars and follow the directions you are using for proper canning. Makes 1 1/2 cups of jam.
- Enjoy for weeks refrigerated.