Friday, 21 August 2009

Slightly Lemony Blueberry Jam

Blueberry jam! One of our favourites. We like it best made with wild blueberries, but the cultivated berries are one-third of the price, and make fine jam too. Using half wild and half cultivated will get some of that wild flavour while keeping the price down a bit.

The lemon adds a bit of tang, and also helps it to set. If you can keep the seeds from 2 or 3 extra lemons, in the day or two before you make the jam, they will come in handy. Just keep them in a jar or bowl in the fridge, with just enough water to cover them. They are full of pectin which will help the jam to set.

10 250-ml jars
1 hour prep time

Lemony Blueberry Jam
4 cups of sugar
the grated zest of 1 large lemon
the juice of 1 large lemon
3 quarts blueberries

Put your jars into the canner, and cover them with water by at least 1 inch. Bring them to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes.

Wash and pick over the blueberries, removing any bad ones, leaves and stems.

Once the jars are close to boiling, start the jam. Put the sugar, lemon zest and juice into the kettle, and bring to a boil. Keep the seeds from the lemon, and if you have a few extra, so much the better. Put them in a tea-ball or tie them into a little packet of cheesecloth, and add them to the pot. Add the well-drained blueberries. Bring up to a boil and boil steadily, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the jam tests as ready to set. Put a little on a saucer kept in the freezer for this purpose and see if it wrinkles up when you push it. Alternatively, pour the jam off the side of the spoon; it will come off in a stream at first, then it will divide into two streams; when it comes off in a sheet or in multiple streams, it is ready. Remove the ball or packet of lemon seeds.

Put the jam into the prepared jars, wipe the rims with a bit of paper towel dipped in the boiling water, and seal with lids prepared according to the manufacturer's directions, that is boiled for 5 minutes. Return the jars to the boiling water bath, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove to cool and check the seals once they are cold. Label and store in a cool, dark spot. Keep in the fridge once opened.

Last year at this time I made Marinated Beans with Spiced Walnuts.

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