Friday, June 29, 2012

Blueberry Jam

Today I tried my first experiment with canning since I helped Grannie a few weeks ago. Because blueberries are plentiful, I decided to make a simple blueberry jam adapted from Taste of Home Canning & Preserving. The recipe is pretty straightforward and makes a relatively small amount. I had some blueberry mixture left after filling my nine small jars, so I put the extra in an airtight container and stored in the fridge (safe to eat for up to three weeks). It will be delicious over some pancakes or waffles.

Blueberry Jam
8 cups fresh blueberries
6 cups sugar
2 tsp. lemon zest
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons, depending on size)
2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 pouches liquid fruit pectin
9 half-pint jars with rings and lids

1. Place jars in a large stock pot; add in water to cover, and bring to a boil. In another pan, place rings and lids in water to cover, and bring to a boil. Once the water for the jars boils, carefully, using a jar lifter or heavy-duty tongs, drain water from jars back into stock pot, and place jars on a towel-lined baking sheet. Once jars are removed, continue to maintain boil of water. Remove the rings and lids from the small pot, and drain on towel.
2. Place blueberries in food processor, in batches, and pulse 10 times. Transfer to a large Dutch oven. Stir in sugar and 4 ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat, and carefully skim foam off top, and discard.
Use a ladle and wide-mouth funnel to
fill the jars with the blueberry mixture.
3. Use a wide-mouth funnel and a ladle to fill hot jars with hot blueberry mixture. Fill just below the screw bands on each jar. Run a knife around inside of jar to remove any air bubbles. Place lids on top, and screw on bands.
4. Place jars in boiling water in stock pot. Make sure water covers the top of the jars by 1 inch. Boil 10 minutes. Turn off heat, and let stand in stock pot 5 minutes. Using jar lifter to carefully remove jars from stock pot onto a towel-lined baking sheet. As the jars sit, you will hear a popping noise as the seals set. Let jars stand for 24 hours on a towel without moving them. Tap the tops to make sure seals have set, and store in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
Cover jars with 1 inch of water,
and boil 10 minutes. 
Wipe jar rims before screwing on lids.

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