Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blueberry Jam Session

Blueberries are still showing up at the farmer's market.  If you love blueberries, you should consider putting up some blueberry jam.  I did.  Now I have little jars of summer sitting in my pantry, ready to open on a bleak winter's day.  But you had better hurry....blueberries won't be around much longer.

If you haven't done any canning, you should do a little reading first.  This is a good site, loaded with information . Don't let canning frighten you.  Generally speaking, be sure you read through your recipe and plan to do your canning on a day when you do not feel rushed and you can give it your full attention. There are no safe shortcuts when it comes to canning.  Blueberry jam is a great place to start.  It is practically foolproof.  The addition of lime to this jam makes it something special.
 Blueberry Jam with Lime
  • Wash  8  1/2 pint jars, rings and new lids
  • Bring a deep pot of water, or canning pot with rack, to a rolling boil.  Add clean jars and rings, sterilize for 10-15 minutes,  Running jars through the dishwasher is not enough.      Do not boil the lids. Place lids in a bowl filled with boiled water that has cooled for a few minutes. This helps activate the seal.
While jars are sterilizing, start the jam.

3 pints of cleaned blueberries
1 package of pectin
4 cups sugar
Zest of 2 limes
( I use a microplane)
Juice of 2 limes

  1. Crush the blueberries in a heavy pot.  Add pectin. Stir.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring often.
  3. Add sugar and stir until it is dissolved.  
  4. Add in the lime juice and zest, stir until well mixed.
  5. Bring to a rolling boil.
  6. Continue to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken.
  7. Remove from heat
  • Remove jars and lids from pot. Return water to a boil.
  • Ladle jam into hot jars using a canning funnel, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace.  Be careful, you are working with very hot jam.
  • Fill all jars and place lid on top of jars.  Be sure top of jar is clean and free from splattered jam.  Wipe with clean cloth if necessary.  Using a funnel helps keep this step neat.      Screw on rings.
  • Place jars of jam in canning rack.  Be sure jars are covered with 2 inches of boiling water.  Process for 15 minutes in boiling water.  
  • After 15 minutes, turn off heat.  Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from hot water and allow to cool.  Do not disturb for at least 12 hours. 
  • Shortly after jars are removed from bath, you will hear the " ping" of the jars sealing as they cool.
  • Once cooled, check seal by pressing in the center of each lid.  It should not flex.  If one does not seal, refrigerate and use first.  Store other jars in a cool dark space.

                              Making jam may sound like a lot of work, but it is so worth it!


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