Nothing is better on a weekend morning than toast with homemade jam. Not only does it taste delicious, it’s one of the prettiest things you can put on your table.

The great news is that you don’t have to know how to can food or have buckets of fresh fruit to get started. Small-batch jam is perfect for people who want to pick up a small amount of produce at the farmers’ market or grocery, and have something on the table within 30 minutes.

Thisraspberry vanilla jam with black pepper is one of my favorites. One of the reasons I love it is because it’s so easy to throw together. There is no peeling, seeding or chopping necessary. You just rinse your raspberries and throw them in a saucepan with lemon juice, sugar, a vanilla bean and fresh-ground black pepper.

This jam will be stored in the refrigerator, and not canned. That means you can be flexible on the amounts of sugar and lemon juice you add to the pan. When canning food to store in the pantry, more specificity is required in the amount of acid and sugar, because both are important players in the preservation and safety of a shelf-stable jam.

If you try the recipe and it’s too sweet, reduce the sugar. If it’s not sweet enough, add more. Same thing goes for the lemon juice. Feel free to adjust the amount to your personal taste. Be aware this version has less sugar than a typical jam recipe. Since it will be stored in the refrigerator and eaten right away, I really wanted the flavor of the raspberries to be the star.

Serve it alongside your favorite bread, or even on a charcuterie tray with some strong-flavored cheeses and cured meats. Your guests will be impressed, and your belly will be pleased.

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