The extra jam left over from the recipe can last in the fridge for up to a month. Thanks to the wonder of jam sugar, making home-made jam has never been so easy.
Recipe by Illanique van Aswegen
Photograph by Adel Ferreira
Raspberry jam drops
- 700g raspberries
- 15ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
- 700g jam sugar
- seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- 120g butter
- 100g (½ cup) brown sugar
- 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
- 1 egg
- 200g self-raising flour
Place a small plate in the freezer. You will use this later to test the jam’s thickness. Sterilise 2 jars (see notes).
For the jam, place the raspberries and lemon juice in a pot. Heat gently until the raspberries are slightly soft and have released their juice, about 5 minutes. Stir in the jam sugar and allow it to dissolve. Turn up the heat and let the mixture bubble steadily and undisturbed, 8 – 10 minutes.
To test if the jam has reached the setting stage, take a spoonful of the mixture and place it on the cold plate from the freezer. Allow it to stand for 2 minutes at room temperature. If the jam firms up and wrinkles when you push against it with your finger, it is ready. Let it cool down in the pot for 20 minutes.
Lightly scoop off the top layer of foam and impurities with a slotted spoon. Stir in the vanilla seeds and pour the mixture into the prepared jars.
For the biscuits, preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together for 3 minutes. Whisk in the egg and fold in the flour. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Remove from the fridge, roll out 18 balls of dough and place on the lined trays. Leave spaces between them as they spread out while baking. Dip your thumb in flour and make an indent in the middle of each ball. Place a small teaspoonful of jam in each indent and bake until golden brown, 15 – 20 minutes. Leave to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.
Substitute the raspberries with any one of your favourite berries – strawberries, blueberries or gooseberries. This recipe makes more jam than is needed for the biscuits; keep the leftover jam in the fridge and enjoy with toast and scones or melt it down as a sauce for ice cream. Sterilise the jars before filling with jam. To do this safely, place the jars in a pot (without their lids). Cover with water, bring to a boil and boil for 15 – 20 minutes. Use immediately.