I feel very fortunate to say that I had two very talented grandmothers. Talented in their own rights, both were highly creative, and had a keen eye for detail. If I got only half of that, well, then I feel blessed. With all of this, one was an exceptional cook, and the other could can and put up fruits and vegetables like nobody’s business. Add some homemade jams and preserves to that, and I’ll pull up the bread.
For years, I have wanted to follow my Gram’s canning legacy and make homemade strawberry preserves and raspberry jam. She always made sure we had a stock of it in our pantry and / or freezer and the years after her passing, I’ve wanted to step in and try my hand at it. This past spring, I made myself the promise that I would come up with my own recipe for both, and do my best for my preserves and jams to be as good as her’s.
Since Gram’s recipe was all in her head, nothing was written down, I had to go by taste and I also scoured my collection of cookbooks to reference and compare recipes. Until my strawberry patch produces a substantial enough crop, I headed to a local farm to pick my berries. I played around with sugar amounts, and I added a little lemon zest for brightness. You can find my Strawberry Preserves recipe here.
Really known for her raspberry jam, Gram’s was sweet and very raspberry-y. For my recipe, I did cut down the sugar some, but I wanted that brightness again. For my Raspberry Jam, I added both orange zest and orange juice, and let me tell you, I’ve really got to toot my own horn here because this Raspberry Jam recipe is DELISH!!
With both of these recipes, I can only hope my Gram would be proud, and I am carrying on her legacy.