Preserve fresh ripe raspberries by bottling them so you can enjoy the taste year round!
First, wash your sink out and fill it 3-4 inches deep with cold water. Dump your raspberries into the cold water and move them around with your hand to loosen any dirt, leaves or anything else that might be on there. Remove the leaves and other bits you don't want to end up in your jam. Using a strainer (I like the metal mesh strainers with a handle), scoop and drain the water from the raspberries. Then place them in a large bowl.
Use your potato masher to smash the raspberries. It's not necessary to make sure every single raspberry is smashed, as they will break down further when you are cooking them. Once mashed, pour the raspberries into the large pot on the stove.
In the medium bowl, measure the sugar into it.
*NOTE* Here is one of the major ways my measurements differ from those included with the pectin. I always swap the amounts listed for the raspberries and the sugar. This is because if the raspberries are ripe, you shouldn't need much sugar to bring out their sweetness and flavor. For example, if it says to use 6 cups of crushed raspberries and 8 cups of sugar, I will use 8 cups of raspberries and 6 cups of sugar. The instructions that come with the pectin might say that you should use a different type of pectin if you are going to do a less sugar or no sugar needed recipe but I've always just used the regular pectin and adjusted the fruit and sugar ratios.
Add the lemon juice, butter and pectin. Turn on the burner to high and stir.
Bring the jam to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred), stirring constantly.
Add sugar to the raspberries in the pot and continue stirring to combine. Bring the jam to a full rolling boil again. When it gets there, set a timer for 4 minutes and stir constantly to prevent it from burning. Remove the pot from the heat when the timer goes off.
Immediately start scooping the jam into the first jar, leaving 1/4"-1/2" at the top. Move the funnel to the next jar you will be filling. Then use your tongs to pick up a lid from the simmering water and place it on the jar, followed by a ring. Continue this process until all the jam has been poured into jars.
Next, use the silicone hot pot holder to hold onto the hot jar and make sure the ring is on tight. I usually do this at the end of the batch because I want to get the hot jam into jars as quickly as possible. Then, I flip the jar upside down and let them sit for 24 hours.
After about 6 hours, check the lids to see if they have sealed by pressing down on the middle of the lid. If it pops up, let it remain upside down for a few more hours and then check again. In the case that it doesn't seal, you will need to refrigerate it and eat it within 3 weeks. For all jars that seal, you can flip them upright and store them in a dark, cool place for up to 1 year.
It is recommended in the instructions included with the pectin to process your jam by boiling it in a canner. I have never followed this recommendation and have found the jars to seal just fine by placing them upside down as mentioned above. (The purpose of processing is to kill any remaining bacteria in your bottled food and to help seal the jar so you can preserve it.) However, if you would like to process your jam, I highly recommend using a steam canner, as it uses less water and takes less time to heat up as a result. The instructions from your pectin box should have an altitude chart you can refer to so you know how long to process the jam for.