Slowly, but surely, I’m working through the queue of recipes I built up before my sister’s wedding (and the one or two I made there, and the one or two I’ve made since I’ve been home).
Really, the cooking part of this exercise is going a lot better than the posting. The posting is vital, though, as it’s a big motivator to keep up with the challenge. And, honestly, we’ve been behind on the posting for long enough that I do get the feeling that if we just put the oomph into catching up, the posting will be a lot more fun and stay basically caught up. The real challenge is on the days when we manage to make multiple recipes at once.
The day we made this jam was one of those days. I went on a jam-making frenzy. I made three batches of jam, two of which were from the book linked above. This blueberry lime jam is my favorite of the three. I don’t know Bill’s overall feelings on it. I gave a jar to Rob as well, who felt that the lime was too pronounced and that it was too sweet overall.
4.5 c crushed blueberries
Grated zest and juice of 1 large lime
1 package POWDERED fruit pectin
5 c granulated sugar
Prepare canner, jars & lids.
Combine berries, juice & zest, then stir in the pectin until it is completely dissolved. Do this in the pot you plan to cook in, to minimize mess, but don’t have it over any heat just yet. Once the pectin is dissolved, bring this mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add the sugar all at once, and bring back to a full rolling boil. Once it’s at a full rolling boil, boil hard for one minute, then remove from heat and skim off foam (if desired).
Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 0.25″ of headspace. Remove air bubbles, and adjust headspace as needed. Wipe rim & threads, then center lids on jars. Place band on jar, and screw down until fingertip-tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring that they are full immersed in the water. Bring to a boil, cover, and process (gentle boil) for 10 minutes (at sea level). Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and wait 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner, cool and store.
Cooking and Consumption Notes
If you don’t know how to prep your canner, jars and lids, I strongly recommend you go find a friend who does, or go get this book. Mostly, it involves heating the water in the canner to a near boil, simmering the lids, and making sure the jars are reasonably warm (so as to avoid exploding glass). However, expertise is the best teacher, so I suggest learning from someone who knows (either IRL or via a good, solid book like this one).
Crushing blueberries by hand is kind of a pain. I used a potato masher, and it worked fine. I also occasionally used Bill. He is also very good at working a potato masher.
I’d never worked terribly hard to dissolve powdered pectin before, when I worked with Corrine (who taught me how to make jam), but this book is very insistent it must be done before the heat is applied. I don’t recall why.
A full rolling boil is when it stays boiling pretty solidly even with constant stirring. Frankly, it takes a lot longer to get there than you think it should. Seriously. Patience is required here.
Also seemingly required? About fourteen pairs of hands once everything’s boiling. Seriously, I had intended to make this by myself, but Bill had to jump in and help. It just seems like, once the jam is boiling, everything all has to happen RIGHT NOW. The jars have to be clean, ready and warm enough to not explode. The funnel (if you’re using one) has to be set up, but also ready to move between jars. Jam has to be ladled into jars, via the funnel. Headspace has to be checked. Air bubbles have to be forced out of the jars. The jar top & threads have to be wiped down. Lids & bands have to be put on.
I know people do this by themselves all the time, and it probably doesn’t have to be quite as quick as it feels like it has to be. I’m sure I’ll be just fine later today when I make plum jam. By myself. Because no one else is home.
Well, it’ll be tasty.
I really liked this jam. It’s interesting, though. If you, for some reason, just taste a little of the jam straight-up, the lime comes in and punches you right in the teeth. It is, by far, the dominant flavor. However, once you spread it on some toast or make a PB&J or, really, mix the flavor in any way, the lime mellows right out. Curls up and snuggles the blueberry flavor like a cat in a favorite chair.
As I mentioned in the “preview”, Rob found this jam far too sweet (and, also, the lime very large in flavor). I thought it was just perfect. Bill thought the lime needed to be increased. Clearly, I cannot feed both Bill and Rob jam that makes them happy.
Luckily, I can make me happy, by making more of this jam when we run out. And those two can take it or leave it.