Fruit Varenye (Preserves)

Making varenye at home

Boiling Raspberry Varenye…

One of the things that is plentiful in Russia is berries. When in the village it is a pleasure to walk the woods and old village roads and trails. In these areas is always an abundance of berries. Just carry a plastic bag with you and several walks later, you will have enough berries to produce a Winters worth of Jams…

Making and canning your own Varenye (runny style jam) the Russian way is very easy. Just follow the recipe to see how to do it. This works equally well for strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, cranberry, blueberry, boysenberry, dewberry, gooseberry, loganberry, marionberry, peach, plum, damson plum, tayberry, youngberry and etc etc etc. Make by individual fruit or mixing them to make a berry jam…

Lets Make – Raspberry (any fruit will do) Varenye (Jam):

2.27 kg (5 lbs) freshly picked raspberries

1.5kg sugar

Several big jars, sterilized in boiling water (sterilize the lids as well and make sure very dry)


Clean raspberries. (remove stems and leaves)

Use a large bowl.

Dump the raspberries and pour all the sugar on top and cover all berries.

You may mix lightly but be gentle and not destroy the berries.

Let the mixture sit until the berries begin to produce fluid. This can take anywhere from 4-8 hours.(or longer if too cold)

Put the mixture over a low heat and warm until the sugar dissolves, then raise the heat and bring to a boil for 1-3 minutes. (Do not burn…)

Leave to cool, then transfer into jars. Make sure to wait until the varenye stops steaming. It’s also important that the jars are completely dry, as moisture will cause mold to grow.

Close (seal with lids) the jars and place them into a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Make sure that boiling water is over the top of the lids…

Remove from boiling water and set on a towel on the counter…

When the jars cool to the touch, store in a dark, dry place until needed for that sweet tooth. (Most Russians save Varenye for the Winter time to enjoy this treat of the senses…)


In Russia, they eat it in a little bowl with hot tea, and many use it a a sweetener in the tea. I eat it on bread and pancakes, but it would also make a good topping for waffles, since the berries are floating in a homemade syrup…

PS: This can be used with apples, lemons, oranges, plums and or any fruit to make a wonderful jam. Store bought is just as good and I make a wonderful Kiwi Jam from the store bought variety. So even those stuck in the big cities can have homemade jams. I was also raised to use paraffin to seal the top with. Mason jars are great but to do it the Russian way just follow the above recipe.  It works for them…


Windows to Russia!

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