Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Jam"-ing Out: 3rd Times the Charm

 ♫ ♫ ♫ Oops, I did it again ♫ ♫ ♫

No, I am not singing a Britney Spears song. (Although, as embarrassing as it is to admit, I did belt that song out into my hairbrush back in the day).  I am talking about making jam.  I have really been on a roll lately with this, so when my good friend April brought over fresh blueberries today, we did not hesitate to get going on some more jelly.

Since April's husband Richard picked these juicy little berries off a road side stand, we had to go through and check for stems and leaves.  (Truthfully, we would have gone through them even if they came from the grocery store).  To get this task done, we employed my daughter Sydney.  She was more than happy to oblige.

After going through the berries, we rinsed them off in the sink with a colander.

Then these plump little things did the mash potato (well, not really; they got mashed with a potato masher)

Then, in a large saucepan, the blueberries, lemon juice, pectin, and water were brought to a rolling boil.  We also added about a teaspoon of butter to prevent any foaming incidents.

After the mix was brought to a rolling boil, the sugar was added.  Once the sugar was mixed all the way into the blueberry mash up, it was brought up to a rolling boil again.  Once the mixture hit a rolling boil, the timer was set for one minute.  Once the minute was up, the mixture was taken off the heat.

Then we canned the jam into 8 ounce jars.  The recipe yielded 8 (8 oz.) jars as well as just enough syrup to enjoy a nice scoop of ice cream.

Although I have enjoyed all of the jams we've tested out so far, this recipe is by far my favorite so far.  It has such a good flavor, in my opinion, I almost think it's even better then the store bought blueberry jelly.

Here's the recipe we used in case you'd like to try this one out.  It's actually the recipe from the MCP (pectin) package, but with the addition of the butter and a bit of cinnamon.  So good.

Blueberry Jam

3 3/4 cup crushed blueberries
6 cups sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
Approx. 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. butter
1 pkg. MCP pectin

Prepare berries.  Crush 1 cup at a time, using a potato masher for best results.  Do not puree, jam is meant to be a little chunky.

In a 6 or 8 quart saucepan, measure in the crushed blueberries, lemon juice, water, cinnamon, butter, and pectin.  Bring this mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly.

Stir in sugar quickly (it's best to have the sugar measured out in a separate bowl before starting to cook the fruit), then return mixture to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute exactly.  Remove from heat.  Skim off any foam with a metal spoon.

Ladle jelly into prepared (sanitized) jars to within 1/4 inch of the top.  Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp towel land place sanitized lid on top,  Screw the band tightly on, then place in canner.  Water in canner should cover the top of the lid by approx. one to two inches.  Bring water to a gentle boil and process jars for 10 minutes.

Remove jars from water canner and set in a place where they will be undisturbed for 24 hours.  Once the jars are cooled, check the seals by pressing the middle of the lid with your finger (If the lid springs back, the jar did not seal correctly and needs to be refrigerated). 

Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.  Store unopened jams in a cool, dry, dark place for up to a year.  Refrigerated jam can be stored for about a month.

1 comment:

  1. Yum Oh love blueberries. Love ya all, Mom