Accidentally Cooking

Documenting my mistakes in the garden, kitchen and pantry

Blueberry Lemon Jam

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Our grocery store was having a sale on blueberries: buy one pint, get a second one free. Doing the math, unit price came down to about 2.50$ per pint. For that price, we got 6. We still have a quart of blueberry pie filling in our pantry, so instead of making more of that I decided to make something I didn’t make last year: Blueberry jam.

But…we also have a pile of lemons, and I have a great recipe in my book for a Blueberry Lemon Jam. That’s what I made. I’m very easily distracted.

Blueberry Lemon Jam

  • 4 Pints Blueberries [1]
  • 1 Cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 and a half lemons
  • 3 cups sugar [2], plus 1/4 cup
  • Half bag of Sure Jel Low-Sugar Pectin

Rinse the blueberries and pick over [3]. Combine blueberries, lemon juice, sugar and zest in a large pot. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, put in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, return the mixture to the pot and boil. Mix the 1/4 cup sugar and pectin in a bowl, to prevent clumping, and add to the fruit mixture. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Ladle into prepared jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Results

The Jam seems maybe a little bit loose. A little thicker than a syrup, a little runnier than an average jam. It’s pretty good as-is, but I also wouldn’t be upset if it set up a bit more. Next time I’ll probably use the whole bag of pectin.

DSC_3360

I got about 8 pints of jam from the recipe, though the picture only shows 3. One didn’t seal so we put it in the fridge and started enjoying immediately. The flavor of the jam is very punchy. It has a rich blueberry flavor with a hint of tartness and brightness from the lemon. I suggested that it could maybe use more lemon zest, but Dana says it’s fine. I feel like the flavor is missing something (mint or cinnamon, maybe?), but overall it’s still a very tasty jam. It’s good on toast, but I think the real beauty of it will come on a bagel with a little cream cheese.

Notes

  1. The original recipe calls for 2 1/4 lbs of blueberries, 7 ounces of lemon juice, and two whole lemons, sliced thin and poached in sugar syrup. I weighed each pint to be about 10 ounces. Rounding up, the result is 40 ounces (2.5lbs). Rounding the 7 ounces of lemon juice up to an even cup also keeps the ratio very similar. Instead of using two whole lemons sliced, which I don’t like doing, I zested a lemon and a half. I figure the potency of grated zest would be similar in overall flavor to the two whole lemons. If the recipe doesn’t turn out, it’s not my fault because I was sort of following somebody else’s recipe.
  2. The original recipe calls for 4.5 cups of sugar, which might have needed to be rounded up because I increased all the other ingredients. But, since we have miracles like “powered pectin” here in the modern world outside Alsace France, I cut down the amount of sugar and let the pectin do the work of thickening the jam.
  3. I ended up having to discard several overripe or otherwise creepy berries along the way, so I tossed in an extra half pint of berries (which also needed a good picking-over). I think, in the end, the final quantity was still around 4 pints or just a little over.
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Author: Andrew Whitworth

I'm a software engineer from Philadelphia PA. Sometimes I like to go out to my garden, or step into my kitchen and make a really big mess of things.

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