Sunday, August 7, 2011
This summer has permanently converted me into a homemade jam fanatic. Jam is a time consuming job, but I promise that if you are suffering through a Chicago winter with some homemade jam on toast, it won't be so bad. Maybe you should ask me if I still mean it in February, but for now I swear by it! I made this batch of blueberry jam when I was visiting my sister, but today I made five more jars to have for myself in Chicago. It's fantastic. Yep.
It's summer. Which means that you shouldn't go and buy your fruit at a grocery store. Go outside and buy some at a farmers market! They are delicious, have less chemicals, and are supporting your local farmers. I can't stress how important that is to me. They work hard and they deserve our support!
Prepare your jars. This will make 4-5 eight ounce jars of jam. See my post on strawberry jam for full instructions on how to prepare your jars.
Crush two and one quarter cups of blueberries. Measure after crushed.
Then put the blueberries into a deep stainless steel saucepan with 3 and a half cups of sugar, and two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Stir over high heat and bring to a boil.
Yep, that's steam. Add one package of liquid pectin (I use CERTO). Boil hard for one minute, so that you can't stir it down. Remove from the heat and skim off the foam.
Pour into the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of space from the top. Using a non-metalic utensil, go around the edges of the jar (between the jam and the inside of the jar) to remove air bubbles. Wipe the rims with a damp paper towel, but don't touch the rims with your hands. Using tongs, place the top on the jar and then using your hands, screw on the screw band until tight, but not stuck. Then place the jars into the canner and allow them to boil for ten minutes, covered. Turn the heat off and remove the lid and allow to stand for five more minutes. Then remove the jars from the pot and allow to cool completely (I let them cool for 24 hours before doing much with them). Make sure that the jars have sealed. If they haven't, keep them in the refrigerator.
The thing that takes the most time is boiling the water initially. Making jam (i.e., "jamming") is not complicated so try it! It's a great way to get yourself through the winter! Nothing beats homemade goodies and a warm blanket. Also, I realize it's August, but seriously, if you're from Chicago, you learn to think ahead.
2 1/4 cups crushed blueberries (about 2 pints blueberries)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin
makes 4-5 8 ounce jars
Posted by Kelly's Kitchen at 9:32 PM