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~ Blueberry Jam: The End of Our Blueberries 2012 ~

6a0120a8551282970b0177433079db970dAll good things come to and end, and, now, it is the end of blueberry season.  Forgive me if I am not teary-eyed.  This has been a banner year for blueberries in our backyard, and, if you've been following Kitchen Encounters for the past week, you know I have saturated my blog with some scrumptious blueberry posts.  I've made blueberry buckle, blueberry pie, blueberry salad, and today, I'm calling it quits.  Why?  Well, when your family starts walking past blueberry desserts instead of eating them, it's time to quit posting and get out the jam pot.

PICT0008 6a0120a8551282970b015433b04b23970c-800wi PICT0006Blueberry Buckle.

Blueberry Pie.

Blueberry Salad.


6a0120a8551282970b015434038c57970c-320wiBlueberry Jam.

If you make a lot of jellies, jams, preserves, marmalades or chutney and conserve, you might want to consider a maslin pot.  This 10 1/2-quart pot is ideal for long, slow methods of food preparation.  It has a heavy bottom and wide, sloping sides which reduce the possibility of scorching and promotes evaporation.  Its heavy loop handle makes transporting a large quantity of hot food easy and safe.  This pot is fantastic for jams, soups, stews, chili, etc. (about $190.00).

PICT0002Blueberries are a pretty straighforward and self-explanatory fruit.  That being said, depending upon who picked them or where you bought them, there are always a few that have stems in them and a few that are over-ripe or mushy. Quickly sift through your berries, removing and discarding any stems, as well as throwing away any shriveled or mushy berries.

PICT00038  pounds blueberries

6  cups sugar

4  tablespoons blueberry schnapps

1  lemon, cut in half

2  packets liquid pectin

2  tablespoons salted butter

A bit about pectin:  It's a water-soluable, gelatinlike subtance (usually made from apples) used for thickening fruits that don't contain enough to thicken themselves.

PICT0004~ Step 1.  Place the blueberries in a large bowl.  Using your hands (I'm wearing a vinyl glove), squeeze the berries, until they are smashed into coarse bits and pieces.  Note: Alternative methods are to use a vegetable masher or a food processor.  I have tried both and take it from me, using your hands is the easiest, quickest and best way to get the proper chunky uniform consistency without pulverizing or over-processing them!

PICT0004~ Step 2.  Transfer the berries to an 8-10 quart, wide-bottomed pot.  Add the sugar and the blueberry schnapps.

PICT0010~ Step 3. Stir to combine and allow the mixture to rest for 20-30 minutes.  This will allow the sugar to dissolve completely.

PICT0003~ Step 4.  Briefly restir.  Mixture will be soupy and shiny.

PICT0008~ Step 5. Add butter. Squeeze lemon juice into pan and add rinds.  Over medium-high heat bring to a vigorous simmer, stirring occasionally.  Adjust heat to a rapid, steady simmer and cook fo 30 minutes, stirring frequently.


PICT0002~ Step 6.  Add the pectin  and stir constantly until it is completely dissolved.  This will take about 3-5 minutes. Continue to simmer vigorously, stirring frequently for 15 more minutes...





... or until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, is reduced slightly and leaving a tell-tale sugar ring around the sides of the pot.





~ Step 7.  Turn the heat off and allow to rest, uncovered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, prior to portioning, cooling completely and refrigerating or freezing!

PICT0006Stored in my freezer, this will be enough jam for my family until next years blueberry season!

The End!!!

PICT0003Blueberry Jam:  The End of Our Blueberries 2012:  Recipe yields 12 cups jam.

Special Equipment List:  vinyl gloves (optional); 10-quart jam pot or 8-12-quart wide-bottomed stockpot; large spoon; ladle; freezer safe food storage containers

PICT0007Cook's Note:  We have a cherry tree in our backyard, and, at the end of June, I was bombarded by them too.  To read my recipe for ~ 'Tis True:  Sour Cherries Do Make the Best Jam ~, click into Categories 8, 9 or 22!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012)


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