BLUEBERRY JAM [No Pectin]

July 2019 | The Honest Spoon

 

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If you have been following along, it’s July and that means berry picking season here in the Pacific Northwest. We started our berry picking adventures when we moved to Vermont about 7 years ago. Growing up in Southern California, I had never berry picked before. So once the berry picking seal was broken- I was hooked! Now, living in Portland, we make sure to get our overt summer and keep up the tradition.

I don't much care for blueberries, but the first time we picked berries, in Vermont, all the farm had in season was blueberries. So, that’s what we ended up with. Lots and Lots of blueberries. That was the first time I made blueberry jam and let me tell you- it’s NEXT LEVEL. It’s 100% worth the hour you’ll need to make it.

To make blueberry jam you’ll need:

two heavy bottomed stock pots (one for jam, one for canning)

fresh blueberries

granulated sugar

sterilized 8oz jelly jars and lids

wooden spoon

potato masher

If you have never canned before I highly recommend you do some  research. Canning can be very dangerous. When I can absolutely NO ONE is allowed in the kitchen. I go so far as to wearing a zip up hoodie so that if, god forbid, a can was to explode/ crack/ break- I can easily remove what I am wearing to minimize burns. Now in all my adult years I have never had anything explode- but I have childhood memories of jarring loads of tomato sauce and jars were always prone to breaking or cracking here and there. With a bit of common sense, research and preparation canning is fun and very rewarding. It’s also very affordable.

Notes:

  1.  I prefer the water bath canning method. That’s what I have shown below.

  2. Today I made 12 8oz jelly jars (double recipe), 6 cups blueberries makes 6 jelly jars.

  3. If you have an odd amount of blueberries you can plan for  1/3 Cup sugar for every 1 Cup of blueberries. Also, 1 cup blueberries makes one jelly jar.

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BLUEBERRY JAM [No Jam}

INGREDIENTS:

(makes 6 pints)

  • 6 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and stems removed

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

METHOD:

1. Submerse  your sterilized jars in a pot of HOT water. Keep in the hot water until ready to use.

2. Place blueberries and sugar in a heavy bottomed stock pan. Stir and adjust heat to medium. Using your potato masher, give the berries a quick mash to break up some of the larger pieces. This is a rustic jam so do not over mash the berries.

3.Bring berry mixture to a consistent, slow rolling boil. Adjust the heat up or down as needed. Cook for 30 minutes total  and be sure to stir a few times through the cooking time.

4. Towards the end of the cooking process you’ll notice foam rising to the top. Diligently skim the foam. NOTE: Blueberries release quite a bit of liquid while cooking. The blueberry mixture will be watery- that is OK!

5.  Remove the jars from the hot water. I use heavy duty tongs. TAKE YOUR TIME. Using tongs, gently pour the water from the jar back into the pot and set the jar aside. I use an 8x8 or 9x13 pan and place the hot jars there.

6. Once the pot of water is empty, turn the heat up and bring the empty pot to a boil.

7. Using a ladle, pour the hot blueberry mixture evenly into the hot  jars. Leave about 1/2” of space from the top. place the lid and the ring on the jar.

7. Using your tongs, submerge the canned blueberry jam into the boiling water one can at a time. TAKE YOUR TIME and do not over crowd the jars. Boil for 8 minutes. (you can boil the jars in batches.)

8. Using your tongs, remove the jars one by one and place on a heat proof surface. I usually lay a few towels on my counter. Then, listen for the satisfying sound of the “clink” when your jars seal.

9. Let the jars cool completely and let them rest for 24 hours. Check the middle of each jar for a seal. If, for any reason, you have a jar that didn't seal- pop it into the refrigerator and consume it within the next week.

10. Mark your jars with contents and a DATE!! Canned jam can last for years, but it’s always good to mark WHAT it is and WHEN you made it.

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As always, please let me know what you think! I love to hear your comments and feedback!