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Monday, June 13, 2011

Raspberry Jalapeno Jam

We could always tell when my father labeled the raspberry jam as he always spelled raspberry as "rasberry."  He would have been 93 on the 23rd of December, last year (2010).  Mom and Dad made jam each of their 60 years together (1938-1998).  However, this raspberry jalapeno jam would not have been on their list of jams to make -- much too non-traditional to suit either of them.  I  think however, they would have liked the tang.  I like to use this jam with a ham and cheese sandwich.  Spread a little horseradish mayonnaise on one slice of bread, layer fresh leaf lettuce and cheese on the mayo side, layer shaved ham on top of the cheese and lettuce.  Spread another slice of bread with a generous layer of the raspberry jalapeno jam and top off the sandwich.

Or create an appetizer by using mini filio shells (about the size of a mini-cupcake liner) and filling with a strip of shaved ham folded to fit inside the shell.  Top with a smear of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and garnish with a generous dab of the raspberry jalapeno jam.  Sprinkle a few pieces of shreaded Colby cheese or garnish with a raspberry.

Raspberry Jalapeno Jam


5 cups fresh and crushed raspberries (may use frozen)
2 hot peppers, sliced, seeded and finely chopped (red or green jalapeno; if you want more heat use 3, and use the seeds)
6 cups sugar
½ tsp. unsalted Butter (to reduce foaming)
juice of one lime
1 pouch (3 ounces) liquid fruit pectin

You will be canning this jam as usual so wash and sterilize the jars, lids, and rings.  You will need 8-10 jars.   Stir all ingredients except the pectin into a large cooking pan and bring to a full rolling boil over high heat while stirring constantly (using a wooden spoon).  Add the pectin, thoroughly stirring the pectin into the berry mixture.  Bring the mixture to a full boil once again. Remove from heat, and skim off any foam.
Fill jars to 1/8 inch of the top and screw on lids tightly.  Place into a heavy pan, cover with water (1-2 inches over the top) and bring water to a boil.  Keep the jars in a boiling pot for 10 minutes or so.
Remove jars from hot water and place upright on a towel. Allow to cool completely. When cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger, if lid springs back, the lid is not sealed and the jam must be refrigerated.  Yield, 8-10 jars.

And what does Raspberry Jalapeno Jam have to do with literacy?  Well a good sandwich and a good book always makes for a comfortable lunch time respite.  But beyond that there are many books that deal with family traditions.  One of my favorites is actually one that speaks of a favorite holiday as well -- Mim's Christmas Jam by Andrea Pinkney with illustrations by Brian Pinkney (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001).  You might have to search your library for a copy but it's worth the search.

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