Making Red Raspberry Jam, Illustrated

Making delicious jam can be deceptively simple if you prepare it with the streamlined technique I have perfected over the decades I have been raising red raspberries. Several shortcuts have been introduced, but certain steps must be carefully followed to avoid messes…

Fruit is particularly amenable to canning because of the acid it contains. Further, sugar added in high concentration is a very good preservative. I add high amounts of sugar up front which minimizes the boiling step (many recipes call for extended boiling to reduce the volume). This shortened boiling preserves the flavor compared to “reduction” boiling.

I have used this procedure with great success with other fruits. They all contain between 84% and 90% water. Those with higher water content may require slight adjustment of the sugar (step 10). Water content, according to the Composition of Foods: Red raspberries 84%, strawberries 90%, peaches 89% and apricots 85%. If the fruit you are using is higher than most in water, you may have to increase the amount of sugar to compensate.


  • 2 cups perfectly ripe berries, picked over
  • 2 cups granulated sugar


  • 2 cup measure
  • one gallon pot with lid
  • two pint mason jars with lids
  • tongs
  • 1/2 gallon stainless steel pot
  • whisk
  • thermometer, reads 120 to 240 F (-10 to 110 C)
  • canning funnel