Raspberry Jam with Candied Citrus & Star Anise
This is part of my new preserving column for a bunch of regional Ontario newspapers.
Find the original post here.
Raspberry jam is a classic for a reason. Aside from just being downright delicious, the berries contain enough pectin to achieve a good natural set and enough acidity to balance a certain amount of sugar.
But while straight up raspberry jam is a perennial favorite of mine, I can never resist combining fruits with different complimentary flavors to create something new. For a summer fruit raspberries pair remarkably well with more wintry flavours like citrus and anise.
I created this one holiday market season when I ran my company Preservation Society. Customers always favored red fruit jams, but I wanted to bring a seasonal element to this special flavor as well. Star anise is a warming spice but less ubiquitous than cinnamon, and although it has a liquorice flavor it’s subtle enough that no one should protest. Candied citrus brings brightness, a little balancing bitterness, and a nice bite.
Make it now in raspberry season, but if you find you have none left by December, this recipe works brilliantly with frozen fruit as well. Just weigh the raspberries while frozen, mix with sugar and allow to thaw before proceeding.
NOTE: It’s always worth the effort to make your own candied citrus as the quality is generally light years beyond what you can buy in the store. The work of an hour will make enough to last you for months, to flavor and embellish baked goods or to try and dip in chocolate for holiday confection boxes.
Raspberry Jam with Star Anise & Candied Citrus
Makes about four 250mL jars
1.2 kg (9 1/2 cups) raspberries
600 g (3 cups) sugar
60 mL (1/4 cup) lemon juice
70g (1/4 cup) chopped candied citrus peel
2 star anise
Combine the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl and let macerate for at least 15 minutes, or up to 1 week, covered, in the refrigerator.
Transfer the macerated fruit to a wide, heavy-bottomed pot and add the citrus peel and star anise. Heat on medium-high and bring to a hard boil, stirring frequently.
When the froth subsides and bubbles become regular and sputter violently, test jam for doneness by putting a teaspoon of it on a plate in the freezer. After two minutes, the jam should have formed a skin that will wrinkle when prodded.
Remove from the heat and fish out the star anise. Ladle into a heat proof measuring jug and pour into clean jars to within ¼-inch of the rim. Wipe the rims with a damp paper towel, top with new snap lids. Seal fingertip tight and heat process 10 minutes in a hot water bath.
Allow the jars to cool 24 hours, then check the seal before storing somewhere cool, dark and dry, where the jam will keep at least a year.