This year our blueberry bushes were popping with berries so I knew what I needed to do. Blueberry jam! I found the recipe on Brown Eyed Baker's website - it's an adapted version of the Ball Complete Book of  Home Preserving. I made 9 jars in about 2.5 hours.

Always start off by getting your jars cleaned and heated and by heating your lids. Wash your lids and jars in hot soapy water. Then move them to a boiling water bath for ten minutes to sterilize. Remove jars from the water bath, but leave the lids in the hot water until you’re ready to use them to ensure they don’t come in contact with anything before you seal your jars. Or you can use my shortcut. Put them in your dishwasher, it sterilizes everything and keeps them hot. Leave the dishwasher closed and pull out one jar and one lid at a time as you're filling them.

mish-mashed berries!
I mashed about 7 cups of fresh blueberries. This is the worst part, I never feel like I really mash it enough. Plus the berries get stuck in my masher (I'm thinking I need one of the metal zig-zag mashers instead of the one with holes).

I think you just mash until it's the consistency that you want. I like a little more chunky than straight juicy.
Add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice to your mashed berries. I juiced lemons to use but I'm sure you can use the bottled lemon juice, too.

fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2)
Just a note, you can't taste the lemon juice in the jam afterwards so don't worry. You add the lemon juice to give it acid so the gel can form.

hey suga suga!

 Next comes the sugar. Don't freak out but you add 7 cups of sugar. It sounds like a lot, and it is.. so if you want a low sugar or a sugar substitute it may alter the recipe. You can use Splenda or something or you an completely remove the sugar and substitute it with other things like juice. I'm going to be honest here. I made sugar-free strawberry jam and I really disliked it.

I'm sure everyone has their taste but it just wasn't for me.

So add your sugar or sugar substitute and put it on high heat and stir it constantly until it's at a roaring boil. Be careful though, I always tend to have it boil over as soon as I stop stirring for even a seconds.


2 little pouches!
 After the boiling is going good, add 2 packages (3 oz each) of liquid pectin. Pectin is naturally found in a lot of fruit, but in some - like blueberries - it's not enough to do it's job. Basically, it's used for thickening or creating the gel in the jam.

Add the pectin and stir while it boils for 1 minute. Then remove it all from heat and start canning!





This is my favorite part. So, start with your first jar and fill it. I love my funnel for filling it (it's a wide mouth funnel) because it makes it so much less messy. Fill the jars and leave about a 1/4th inch head (that's the empty space at the top). Wipe the rim with a clean cloth to clean it before putting the lid on. Then add the ring and tighten. Don't over tighten it, you just want it hand tightened. Add them to your water bath. Bring your water bath to a boil for 10 minutes then remove the water bath from heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
a bathing they will go

Once your five minutes are up, remove your jars from the water bath but try not to tilt the jar (I have trusty little tools that help me do this). Place them on a towel or another heat resistant surface and let them sit for 24 hours. Try to put it in an area that isn't breezy and the jars won't get bothered or bumped.

Mmmm!

After 24 hours... enjoy!  These will store for up to a year!


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