Raspberry & Liquorice Jam

This recipe comes to us from Lillie O'Brien, the founder of London Borough of Jam. It was featured in her cookbook Five Seasons of Jam as an ideal recipe for summer.

Lillie says: 'This is one of my classic jams that I made when I first started experimenting back in 2011. At the beginning, I used pure liquorice pellets from Calabria in Italy that are incredibly strong but take some time to melt down in the jam. Then I switched to soft liquorice, which, when cut into small pieces, melts down. If you wish, cut it into bigger pieces so that they stay solid after cooking, which is a nice little surprise at the bottom of the jar.'

As with all jam recipes, make sure to sterilise your jars before filling them. Since jars need to be warm when filled, Lillie recommends starting the process while your jam is cooking. See 'BK Tips' for her instructions.

See also: Fig & Earl Grey Jam for autumn, and Kumquat & Brandy Marmalade for winter, and Cherry & Black Pepper Jam for spring.

Makes 5 x 220g jars


1kg raspberries
60g soft liquorice, cut into 1cm pieces
600g caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Put the raspberries and liquorice in a heavy-based saucepan and set over low heat. Cook for 5 minutes to release the juices and partially melt the liquorice, stirring so that the liquorice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Slowly add the sugar and lemon juice and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until the jam reaches setting point, 105ºC on a sugar thermometer or Thermapen. Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately. Store in a cool dark place.

BK Tips

  • This jam will keep for at least 12 months unopened. Make sure that the jars have been properly sterilised and fruit has been cooked to the right temperature – these factors are essential for preservation.

  • Here is Lillie's method for sterilising jars: Pre-heat the oven to 110°C fan, and set a saucepan of water to boil. Wash the jars in warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly, but do not dry. Set the glass jars (without the clips, rubber seals or lids) on a baking tray, open-side up, and put them in the oven for 30 minutes. Place the clips, rubber seals or lids in the saucepan of boiling water and let it boil for 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let it rest in the saucepan until ready to use. When the jars are done sterilising, turn the oven off and let the jars sit in the warm oven until ready to fill. It is best to do this while you cook the jam, as the jars, lids, and clips should be warm when you fill it.

  • If you are using an unlined copper jam pan to make any jam, jelly, or preserve recipe, sugar should be added to the jam pan at the same time as the fruit. (For example, mixing cooked fruit and sugar together before transferring the mixture into a copper jam pan to finish cooking.) This prevents copper from reacting to the acidic components of fruit. 
Five Seasons of Jam by Lillie O’Brien is published by Kyle Books. Photography by Elena Heatherwick.