Don't be intimidated by the jam making process. There's really nothing to be afraid of, and it's quite simple once you've done it. Last year we made our first attempt at Strawberry Jam and we were amazed at how easy it was. Although we missed strawberry season this year, the blueberries were ripe for the picking during the time my boys were with me, and home from camp. On one of the hottest days of the year (not my best planning) we hit a local farm and picked our way through 16 cups of berries! This yielded an amazing blueberry pie and blueberry quick bread. But we picked with the intention of making a batch of blueberry jam. Canning is the term that's popular these days. It was the canning process, truth be told, that I found so terrifying and yet ended up being so very simple - so simple that my 14 year decided to take over the process and while he labored over the stove sterilizing the jars and cooking the berries, I poured myself a glass of rose and er, um... supervised! The jam was spectacular and we've certainly been enjoying it!
Recipe courtesy of Ball
Makes 10 8 oz. jars
6 2/3 cups of berries
2.5 ounces lemon juice (they recommend bottled)
7.5 tbs fruit pectin (Ball)
8 1/3 C Sugar
Tongs to grab the hot jars
8 quart of larger pot
Medium or large saucepan
PREPARE boiling water bath canner by filling an 8 quart or larger pot half-full with water and keep water at a simmer while covered with lid until jars are filled and placed in canner.
You don’t need to purchase a boiling water bath canner if you don’t have one at home. Most kitchens have pots that can double as boiling water bath canners. A boiling water bath canner is simply a large, deep saucepot equipped with a lid and a rack. The pot must be large enough to fully surround and immerse the jars in water by 1 to 2 inches and allow for the water to boil rapidly with the lid on.
1. Place blueberries on a cookie sheet and roll flat with a rolling pin. Combine fruit and lemon juice in a medium saucepan Gradually stir in the pectin and bring mixture to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
2. Add the sugar (all of it!) to the berry mixture and dissolve. Return to a rolling boil and boil hard for ONE minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and if necessary, skim off foam.
3. Pack the jam into jars, one at a time - leaving 1/4 inch of headspace at the top. Wipe the rims, center the lids on the jars, apply the rims and adjust to fingertip tight.
4. Place jars into the canner filled with water, ensuring they are covered with 1 - 2 inches of water. Put the lid on the canner and bring to a gentle, steady boil. Process for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let jars stand for 5 minutes.
5. Remove jars and let cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when the center is pressed. Jars will keep in a cool dry place for up to one year.