I love to make jam and I love to play around with fruit/herb/floral combinations. I knew I wanted to add a subtle lemon flavor, and considered lemon verbena and lemon thyme. Walking through my garden, I realized my favorite little herbal perennial, Lemon Balm, was just right.
Lemon Balm was a tiny bit challenging, though- since the tender leaves tend to turn black when cooked. My solution was to infuse the herb into the sugar, by allowing the lemon balm to sit in the sugar for a day. —Hilarybee
12-14 hours before you want to jam, combine the Lemon Balm and the sugar. Rub the leaves and stalk into the sugar, until it is fragrant. Allow to sit for an entire day, covered.
After the sugar has rested, pick out the lemon balm stalks and any errant leaves that might be in the sugar. Prepare a water bath, and sterilize six jars, lids, and rings (or use Weck rubber seals). Sterilize any other equipment you plan to use- like funnel, measuring cup, etc.
Pour the raspberries in a large non-reactive pot (I use a 10 quart stainless steel jam pan). Gently heat the fruit on low, pressing the fruit against the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the raspberries are very tender and have released their juices.
Take 1 full cup of the mixture and pour it through a fine mesh sieve. This filters out some of the seeds- so the jam is lightly seeded. Add the deseeded mixture back into the pan.
Add the sugar and stir over low heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil rapidly for about 10-15 minutes, or until the jam passes the wrinkle test or reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.
Allow the mixture to cool at least three minutes off the heat. Divide mixture into the sterilized jars. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
Dedicated locavore. I spend my weekends on the back roads (often lost!) looking for the best ingredients Ohio has to offer. I am often accompanied by my husband, Mr. Radar and our dog, Buddy. Born in West Virginia, raised in Michigan, I moved to Ohio for college and have lived there on and off since. I love to meet farmers and local producers. Cooking is an extension of this love.
You can follow my move from government analyst to cottage industrialist and view the food I cook for my personal mad scientist on thistleconfections.com