Sweet Stuff

Spicy Thai Basil Raspberry Jam

Several years ago, I was at the home of my step-brother and sister-in-law’s home for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that you don’t necessarily appreciate as a small child, but as an adult is a feast of all things wonderful, both in food and quality family time. While I was there, we were treated to amazing food, but we also sampled something I had never tried before – hot pepper jelly over cream cheese. I fell in love. It was glorious.

Fast forward to this summer, when my Thai Basil was growing beautifully, and I had decided to make jams as the favors for our wedding. Your typical basil is a wonderful herb, but I discovered that I enjoy the scent and taste of Thai Basil even more, so I was trying to find a way to incorporate it into some jam. The fruit I kept going back to was raspberry. Perhaps not an obvious combination, but for me, I thought it could be amazing. Given that my blueberry jalapeno jam had been such a big hit with my family, I decided I wanted to add a whole lot of heat to the sweetness of the raspberry and Thai basil.

I first found a basic recipe for hot pepper jelly, and then pretty much ignored most of it. Then I combined the flavors I thought would work: my homemade Thai Basil vinegar, raspberries, lime, jalapenos and red hot chili peppers (not the 90s band), and turned it into a jam. It may not be for absolutely everyone, but it is absolutely delicious. I am not normally the type of person to toot my own horn, but in this case, I am happy to do so. This jam is my baby, in part because it is partially homegrown in addition to being homemade, but also because people besides me happen to really enjoy it. I will definitely be making more…possibly this weekend.

Should you decide to expand your jam horizons, this jam goes amazingly with brie, crackers, as a dip for chicken tenders, and probably a dozen other things I have yet to try. It’s not so spicy that it is painful (unless you can’t stand hot at all), so I hope everyone will get the chance to try it someday!

Here’s to imagination becoming reality in a jar! Happy Friday the 13th 🙂


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