Yesterday, my family and I went off an a new adventure…we went raspberry pickin’!! There is a great raspberry farm in a quaint little village near us, in Corrales, NM, called Heidi’s Raspberry Farm. We all piled up and went on the hunt. Eight pints later (and probably at least as much in Luke’s tummy), I was sitting at home pondering what to do with them. It would be easy to flash freeze them and use them in smoothies, etc. However, my ADHD would not allow that to happen… so, I decided to teach myself how to make Raspberry Jam! Oh yeah, I then needed to teach myself the art of “home preserving.” All in a days work…
I found a recipe for homemade Raspberry Jam at http://www.pickyourown.org//raspberryjam.htm and got down to it!
I was surprised at how EASY it was! And fun! There is something very nurturing about making something from scratch that I have always just purchased at the grocery store and having your family love it. It makes you feel special. When you throw in the fresh and organic, it makes you feel mischievously smart. You also gain a keen appreciation for the women that came before us. Before dishwashers, microwaves and food processors…before Pre-packaged foods! I think of my almost 95 year old grandmother (WOW!!!) and what life was like for her when she was raising 5 children and making everything from scratch…I am in awe of her. The thought of not having my food processor makes me want to sit down… :-)
I was VERY careful in sterilizing my jars. Maybe I better keep this first batch for myself…I don’t want to hand out Botulism as a “bonus” gift if I made a mistake :-) All kidding aside, everything worked out perfectly. The little bump in the middle of the lid went perfectly flat (indicating that it was properly sealed). I highly recommend trying to make your own jam, Sam had a blast smooshing all the raspberries we picked with a potato masher, then his hands….properly sanitized of course!
After making the jam, I pondered what to do with it. As much as I love Udi’s bread, that is an awful lot of toast and PB and J’s!
I found (well, my buddy Kristen actually found it) a GREAT site that I was completely unfamiliar with. Http://www.bigoven.com/ is a great resource for recipes! You can search for recipes, post recipes, review and rate recipes, add recipes to your Que, build a grocery list…you have to check it out, it’s all there. While there are a lot of gluten recipes, most can be easily modified to be GF, but there are naturally GF recipes like the Layered Taco Casserole I made for dinner tonight (will post recipe tomorrow) and there are Gluten-Free recipes as well (just type gluten free into the search bar).
So, I decided to make the Old Fashioned Raspberry Bars with my homemade jam!
1/2 cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 cup Tom Sawyer’s GF All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 cup GF Oats (rolled)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (I used Smart Balance Spread in the tub)
3/4 – 1 cup Raspberry Jam or Preserves
- Preheat oven to 350
- Line an 8 inch square baking pan (I used a 10 x 14 cookie sheet) with foil that is long enough to overhang the edges. The overhanging foil will act as handles to lift the cooked bar cookies from the pan.
- Spray foil-lines pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, GF flour, baking soda, salt and oats, mixing well.
- Cut in butter using a pastry blender to form a crumbly mixture, or using a mixer, beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture is crumbly, 2 to 3 minutes. I used the mixer method!
- Press half of crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Spread jam to within 1/4-inch of pan edge.
- Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over the top, and lightly press into jam.
- Bake until topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 35 – 40 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature in baking pan on wire rack.
- Once cooled, remove from baking pan by lifting foil extensions, cut into bars and serve. (I used a pizza cutter…very easy!)
You can also use other types of jam, such as apricot preserves.
Divine. Utterly Divine. The raspberries certainly pack a punch in the tart department, but the sweetness of the oatmeal crust makes a perfect marriage between sweet and tart.