Amy Pennington's Raspberry Orange-Flower Jelly
Photo: n0mad RGBstock
F Raspberry jelly is a labor of love. A big bowl of berries offers only a few small jars of preserves and will take some time to make. The flavor, however, will not disappoint. This recipe calls for a minimum of sugar and is punctuated with the sweet citrus from oranges.
The addition of orange flower water adds a subtle floral note. You won't be able to pick out what it is, but the flower water punches up the natural acidity of the berries and rounds out the sweetness of the preserve. (Or it's fine omit the orange flower water, if you don't have it in your pantry.)
With raspberries, I prefer to strain out the seeds, making this recipe more of a proper jelly. If you don't have a food mill at home, you can press the solids through a fine mesh strainer or whiz them for thirty seconds in a blender and then strain out any solids. The finished jelly is a brilliant hue of deep red that you'll have a hard time stockpiling for winter stores. Simply put, this is a pretty little jam. Buy a flat of just-ripe raspberries and make some for friends – come February, you'll be happy for the extra jar.
2 pounds fresh raspberries, briefly rinsed and picked through
3 cups sugar
1 large orange, zest stripped, juiced (about ¼ cup juice), and rind halves reserved
1 tablespoon orange flower water
Put raspberries, sugar, orange juice, 1 tablespoon orange zest, and orange rinds in large saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to boil and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and let cool. Cover and hold in refrigerator overnight. (By heating the fruit first, you are releasing the natural pectin and letting it macerate overnight. Raspberries are naturally low in pectin and are helped by the addition of the higher pectin orange.)
The next morning, place your pot back over medium heat. Cook until warmed through and berries are quite soft, about 30 minutes. Run mixture through a food mill, reserving only pulp and juice. Compost seeds and solids left behind. Add pulp and juice back to the saucepot and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often, making sure the jelly does not burn. Skim any foam that forms on the jelly's surface and discard. After 15 minutes, check set of jam. Continue cooking until desired consistency is reached, about another 15 to 20 minutes. Pull jelly from heat and stir in orange flower water. Put jelly in sterilized pint jars and process in a water bath for five minutes. Store in a cool, dark cupboard until ready to use, for up to one year.
Makes 2 to 3 pints.
Amy Pennington plants edible gardens for urban dwellers in their backyards and is the founder of www.urbangardenshare.org. She also authored the "Urban Pantry" cookbook series along with several other titles. amypennington.com
She also writes regularly for Seattle's Child. See
Want to pick your own raspberries? See Raspberries: All You Need to Know to Pick Your Own