It is blueberry season and if you have access to fresh blueberries, now is the time to can some fresh blueberry jam! My mother and I got together this past weekend and did just that. Here is her easy recipe and tutorial for making and canning fabulous blueberry jam!
Want to know how? Mom learned from her mom and has lots of great tips to make the perfect jam.
Start with fresh blueberries. We braved the heat and mosquitos and picked about a gallon of blueberries at the local blueberry farm.
To do canning, it is good to have the proper supplies. We bought small canning jars and lids, and put water on to boil. The pot on the left is full of water, the canning jars and the metal parts of the lids in order to sterilize them. Bring the water to boil The pot in the middle holds the canning rack where we will place the filled jars to seal them. Fill this pot about 3/4 full and bring that water to boil. The pot on the right is going to be used to cook the jam.
One final pot holds the round seals for the lids. You want this water to get hot, but do not boil them.
Wash the blueberries! You will have to sort through them and get rid of any little sticks or stems, mushy berries and unripe ones. One of us, and I’m not naming any names here, picked a lot of sticks.
For this Recipe we used:
4 cups crushed fresh blueberries
1 package of Sure Jell Powdered Fruit Pectin
4 cups sugar
We used a food processor to crush the berries. Just a couple pulses of the food processor is plenty. You don’t want it to be totally smooth. Measure out 4 cups of crushed berries.
Pour the berries in your pot and set your burner on high heat. Pour in the fruit pectin and stir constantly. You want the mixture to get to a rolling boil that you cannot stir down. Stir until it comes to that point. Then pour in the 4 cups of sugar all at once. Continue stirring until it comes back to a boil. Boil for one minute, then remove from heat- it now needs to be tested to see if it is done.
Now for an old family secret! You see berries are not all alike. If you have a wet season, the berries have more water in them. Sometimes they have more natural pectin in them than other times. In other words, the cooking time can vary depending on the berry. A glass plate that has been sitting in the freezer will help you to check for proper consistency. Simply add a spoonful of the jam onto the frozen plate and put it back in the freezer for just a few moments. Then check the consistency. If it is the consistency of jam, it is done! If it is too thin, just put the pot back on the burner for another minute and try again.
Once the jam is ready, pull a sterilized jar out of boiling water with a set of tongs, and ladle the jam into the jar using a funnel. Fill to the lower rim of the jar and then use a warm cloth to wipe the top of the rim clean before putting on the lid.
Put the sterilized lid on the jar. (It does not have to be real tight). Place the jars in the canner and lower them into the boiling water using the canning rack.
The water needs to be about 2″ above the jars. Add water if needed. Boil for 10 minutes. Gently lift the jars out one by one with tongs and put on the counter to seal.
You know they have sealed when you hear a “ping”!
Now all you have to do is eat it! Nothing better than fresh berries on a biscuit!
This recipe made 7 jars of jam. We actually ended up making another batch for a total of 14 jars and even had some berries left over for cereal. Fun project!
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