20 Minute Raspberry-Basil Skillet Jam
I know, I can barely believe it myself.
I made JAM. A fruit preserve! A totally rustic, on-the-farm kinda thang that this urban chick never thought she would dare to dabble with. But here I am, in all my jamtastic glory (new word), and I hope by the end of this post I’ve converted you into a jam maker too.
I want to jam it with you…
I wish I could say that I thoroughly and expertly researched how and why and when to make jam, but of course I didn’t. Planning, preparation, strategy? Not in my vocabulary. As with most things in my life this delightful jam is the result of chaotic impulse, a last-ditch effort to save a bounty of fresh fruit all on the verge of expiration.
The beauty (and curse) of living in New York is that you’re given excessive access to almost everything, especially fruit. Fruit carts are an amaaazing city attribute and I’m thankful for them daily – Their prices are always the best, their produce always the freshest, and I can’t help but love a good old-fashioned haggle. The problem is that fruit carts are everywhere, which means approximately every 8 feet I’m buying a new piece of fruit, or bag of fruit, or POUNDS of fruit, because sometimes my haggle game isn’t strong. So when I found myself staring into my fridge at a literal mountain of raspberries no one person could consume, I knew I had a serious issue.
At first I considered making a galette or mini crumbles, but it’s been wayyy too hot to use my oven, so those options were definitively out. As I ticked and crossed off all my remaining options (pies, cheesecakes, parfaits) I ultimately settled on jam. I love a good raspberry jam, I’d never made any before, and I figured I might as well carpe diem this ‘ish and do it myself.
After doing the most minimal of internet research I found that most jam techniques are super involved, tedious, boring, and annoying. To make jam last forever you’ve really gotta know your stuff, but I wasn’t trying to make this last into my 40’s, just a month or so. So when I stumbled upon this quick-cook recipe from Martha, it immediately sparked my interest. I figured that with a few simple tweaks I could easily replicate M’s recipe in a skillet, and one of those tweaks was basil.
Basil may seem random, and honestly it kind of is. But I’ve been quietly tending to my own little urban garden (more on that in an upcoming post) and as a result I’m currently blessed with a plethora of fresh basil begging to be used. So I decided to go bold and fearlessly combine my excess basil with my jam, and odd as it may sound I am SO crazy glad that I did.
The gist of this recipe is raspberries + lemon juice + sugar – Muddle the three while cooking in your skillet, let it bubble and boil, and you’re done. Well… almost done. Because at the very, very end, just before you shut off the flame? You stir in a healthy dose of fresh basil, and BOOM. Amazingness ensues.
By adding the basil at the end you avoid any sort of yucky, off-putting color, but you retain ALL the incredible basil flavor, it’s the best of both worlds. The basil adds such a refreshing taste to the sweet and syrupy jam, I was seriously lapping it into my mouth with reckless abandon. Since jarring it I’ve used this jam in countless ways, from unabashedly smearing it on toasts and bagels to whisking it into EVOO for salad dressing, subbing it for mayo on sammies, and plopping it onto a classic pb&j. Use it however, whenever you want to, and if that means just using a spoon? Your secret is safe with me.
I hope you like jammin’ too…
20 Minute Raspberry-Basil Skillet Jam
- 2 lbs Fresh Raspberries
- 2 tbsps Lemon Juice
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/3 cup Fresh Basil, diced
- Heat large skillet over medium flame. When warm, stir in raspberries and lemon juice, gently mashing up raspberries with a wooden spoon as you do. Allow all ingredients to simmer for 5-6 minutes until just beginning to bubble, then stir in sugar. Once sugar is incorporated, raise flame to high heat and let mixture vigorously bubble until syrupy and thickened, ~15 minutes. When finished cooking, lastly stir in diced basil before transferring to glass jars. Allow jam to cool to room temperature in uncovered jars, then cover and store in refrigerator for up to a month.
>> Dice basil while raspberries cook, it takes just a minute!
>> Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart