I love gifting jam, but sometimes you don’t know if the recipient likes seeds in their spread. So, I like to make this seedless raspberry jam without pectin just to have on hand for those potential anti-seed folks. This jam has simple ingredients, but I’m not going to lie to you: seedless jam is significantly more work. This recipe makes a small batch, so it is a good intro to seedless jam making if you’re just testing out the waters.
Begin by mashing up your raspberries. You do not need to pulverize them, just break them up a bit. It is always best to use ripe berries; however, under-ripe berries actually have more natural pectin in them which will help the jam to gel, so I try to incorporate as many under-ripe berries as I can (no more than 1/4 of the total, though, otherwise you start to lose flavor).
Next, put the berries into a medium-sized pot and heat on medium-low. The heat will encourage the berries to break apart and release their juices. Most importantly, it will help the seeds to separate from the fruit. We do not want any boiling or cooking at this point, just a thorough heating.
While the berries are heating up, set up a bowl and strainer next to your stove. I use this sieve because it can easily go on top of any bowl. It comes with a flat tool that I use to push the berries through, and then use to scrape off all the seeds. Luckily that white little scraper clips onto the side of the sieve when not in use, otherwise I would definitely lose it in the big inevitable berry mess. This sieve works great for my needs, but if you have a lot of anti-seed people in your life, I would recommend getting a food mill to make this whole process a little easier on your hands.
Once the berries are heated through, reduce the heat to low and work in batches to strain out the seeds. I usually ladle 2-3 scoops of berries onto my sieve at a time, push them through, scrape the seeds into a separate bowl, and then scoop on another batch of berries. In short: mash, heat, scoop, strain, scrape, repeat.
You need to keep straining berries until you have 4 cups of seedless juice. I had to use about 3.5 lbs of berries to get that much, but this could vary depending on the size and juiciness of your berries. The whole recipe can be worked in batches if you are unsure of how many berries you’ll need. Again: mash, heat, scoop, strain, scrape, repeat.
Once you have 4 cups of seedless juice, add it back to your pot (make sure there are no straggler seeds in there first!) with the sugar and lemon. Turn the heat to medium, and stir constantly until the mixture reaches a slow, steady boil.
Place a small plate in your freezer. When the jam looks like it has thickened up (about 20 minutes), take the plate out and scoop a teaspoon of the hot jam onto it. Put the plate back in the freezer for 2-3 minutes, and then use your finger to test the cooled jam consistency. If you draw a line in the jam with your finger, the jam should not be runny enough to fill the line back in–you want a solid gel that will stay put. Keep cooking the jam until it passes the cold plate test.
Tip: If you like raspberry topping with your breakfast or dessert, pull some of the jam mixture out about mid-way through the cooking process (before it gels completely). Ta-da! Homemade raspberry topping. You can preserve it via the canning process, or just store it in the fridge. You can also use it as topping on desserts, like my raspberry cheesecake.
When the jam has set up (gelled) you can either store it in jars in the fridge OR follow my instructions for water bath canning to give your jam a longer shelf life. Either way, you’ve just made fresh seedless raspberry jam without pectin!
- 4 cups raspberry juice with seeds removed
- 3 cups sugar
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Mash raspberries in a bowl. Transfer to cooking pot and heat on medium-low until berries start to release their juice.
- Working in batches, scoop the warm berries into your sieve and strain out the seeds. Keep straining until you have 4 cups of juice.
- Heat the raspberry juice, sugar, and lemon on medium until boiling. After 20 minutes, test for doneness. Continue cooking until the mixture gels.
- Store in fridge or can in jars using proper procedures