This tasty, spicy jam makes a sweet gift for anyone who likes things that are sweet... and hot. Saucy made a small batch this week and the recipe put up five jars (250 ml/one cup) of jam.
She didn't have a recipe but Darling had a jar of this kind of jam at the anniversary party a couple of weeks ago and she'd served it with cream cheese on wheat crackers. Veto went mad for it, so Saucy picked up some berries and got to work. How hard could this be? Saucy makes small batches of jam all the time, as she needs it.
Wash four cups of ripe raspberries. Very carefully and finely chop one whole jalapeno pepper that has been cored. The pieces should be as small as you can make them. Saucy had a small red pepper on hand so she chopped and threw that bad boy in as well.
There's nothing like burning your esophagus on some jam. What the Hell, right?
This is the part where Saucy brags about being a rebel and not wearing kitchen gloves when she chops peppers. She just kind of works carefully with the biggest knife she has and tries to touch only the outside of the pepper.
She was okay. This time.
Because the insides of the jalapeno pack a powerful punch, she didn't discard the seeds immediately. She tied them in a little pinch of cheesecloth and threw it into the berries after crushing them.
You want the directions? Here they are.
Prepare five or six small jars in your work area before making jam. Jam is hot and can set up fast, you don't want to be scrambling for jars at the last minute. They should be small jars, holding about a cup of liquid each. Make sure they're super clean. You know the drill.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and place 4 cups of white sugar in a baking dish in the oven to warm.
Wash the berries and place them in a large, heavy pot. Turn the heat to medium/high and use a masher to crush the berries. Throw in in the jalapeno bits and the little sack of seeds. Bring this entire hot mess to a boil.
After about a minute, the mixture will thicken slightly. Remove your warm pan of sugar from the oven and dump it in the pot. Warm sugar melts more readily and the process will be smoother. You'll be activating the natural pectins in your fruit and won't want to overcook it.
Bring the sugar and fruit to a rolling boil and reduce heat to medium - but keep it up high enough to continue a full rolling boil. This will be different on every stove. Work super carefully - hot jam is liquid sugar, that's like molten lava. Stir the mixture constantly and use a timer: boil it for four minutes.
Remove from heat, place on a heatproof surface near your work area and continue stirring for two more minutes. You may have to skim some froth from the top of the mixture before ladling it into the clean prepared jars. You absolutely, definitely, have to find the little cheesecloth sack of jalapeno seeds and discard it.
Proceed with normal canning... which Saucy does not do. She's just not that into it and she rather likes to put this stuff in the fridge - it's such a small amount - and she pulls it out as needed.
In this case, to serve with the cream cheese and crackers when friends come around. Or, quietly, in the pantry with a glass of wine when everyone else has gone to bed.