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« Eco-friendly Cleaning: Seventh Generation healthy home starter kit giveaway | Main | Packing for vacation »

Blueberry jam is not hard

At its simplest, jam is really quite easy, usually just fruit, sugar and some lemon. Did you try no-can strawberry jam? You might remember that jam happens from the first step, cooking the fruit, and the second step (canning it in a waterbath) is completely optional.

Summer marches on and I’m plum(b) crazy over blueberries, especially since I’ve hopped on the U-pick wagon.

I got about 12 pints of IPM (integrated pest management, i.e. spot treating pest management rather than just spraying for the hell of it) blueberries for $8.42. Do you realize how excellent a deal that is?

Plum skins are rich in pectin, as you’ll learn from my fave preserverlady’s book. I decided to throw a few plums in the blueberry jam to help it set better. I don’t have a single picture of those marvellous plums (from same pick-your-own outing), but Doris does. And here’s the plum ginger sorbet that happened with my last, precious quart.

Blueberry plum basil jam

yield 2 half pints and some change

1. Combine the following in a heavy-bottomed, stainless steel or enameled cast-iron pot:

  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 5 or 6 small, slightly underripe sweet plums, halved and pitted
  • 1 cup raw sugar

2. Let sit for an hour to macerate

3. Place pot over medium heat to dissolve any remaining sugar granules, and add 1/2 Tbs strained lemon juice.

4. Raise heat to med-high and boil mixture for about 10 minutes. Add basil* a few minutes before you take it off the heat. Stir somewhere between frequently and occasionally (just to keep the sugar from scorching the bottom.) You’ll know your jam is done when the bubbles have spaced out, and they look slightly larger and become darker. Remove pot from heat.

* I threw 4 or 5 whole basil leaves in with the intent to remove them while the pot sat thickening. I couldn’t find them when all was said and done, but I didn’t really care that there were going to be a few extra basil-y bites of the jam. If you’re not keen on basil chunks, just use a whole sprig (not tearing off individual leaves) or tie off some damp cheesecloth around a few leaves and throw it in the pot.

5. Let thicken for 5 minutes then spoon mixture into two sterilized jars. I put overage in another jar for the fridge. Seal with two-piece lids. Process for 10 min in boiling waterbath.

6. Alternatively, you could just throw the mixture in a pint jar (and an extra for overage) and put them both in the fridge (no-can blueberry jam!) Your fridge jam will keep longer if you sterilize the jar first, which means boiling it for 10 min.

Reader Comments (7)

If you have a dishwasher, can't you just throw the jar in there with your other dishes and wash normally to sterilize

July 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKami

Yes, of course, Kami, good point! Just be sure to use the heated dry setting on the dishwasher.

July 29, 2010 | Registered CommenterKate

I just found your blog via Food in Jars and am completely enthralled. A kindred spirit! I am a hip girl homemaker, a blogger, and a big of a jack of all trades, so I totally dig what you're doing on this blog. I was just in brooklyn on vaca and wish I would have been there a couple weeks later to attend your canning party!

I look forward to reading more of your posts, and for buying your book when it comes out! I am an aspiring book writer, so you are inspiring me.

check out my blog Affairs of Living if you are so inspired, you might enjoy it - I am gluten-free, allergy-friednly, whole foods urban farmer girl who makes everything from scratch.

Best wishes! xoxo Kim |

July 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkim

Kate, do you have any recommendations for PYO fruit farms that are accessible via LIRR/Metro North? I would loooove to go get some fruit for jamming and pickling but have no desire to drive.

July 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Hey Emily, check with the PYO site here. I don't know enough about NY state geography to pick out the ones in the list that might be accessible by Metro North/LIRR. But there are a ton of great farms listed by county and address.

July 29, 2010 | Registered CommenterKate

Can this recipe be adapted for blackberry jam if you just swap out the berries?

November 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterApril

Yes, April, definitely swap out blackberries or raspberries or a combo of any berries you have!

November 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterKate

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