Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blueberry Jam

Nothing says summer in NY like blueberry picking! Now I must say, blueberry picking is not my favorite thing but I do enjoy the benefits. It just seems to take forever to fill those buckets. But it is peaceful and quiet, unless my kids get bored and start running up and down the aisles...or hubby decides to start throwing "accidentally picked" green berries at me. So I had a plan this year. Due to a death in the family I had to take a trip to California for a couple days. So hubby took time off work to hang with the kids. I thought it would be great if he took them blueberry picking. I'd hate it if we missed blueberry season while I was in Cali ;) But after giving him directions 4 times and telling him friends he could call for help, he never found the place. Alas, my plan didn't work. He gave up and took the kids to the park.
This last weekend we picked 50 lbs of blueberries. When we got home I realized I still had 5 gallon size bags from last year =/ Not sure how that happened. Sooo....blueberry jam it is! I'm not an expert jelly/jam maker but I have made it many times over the years and this is the easiest I've ever made! So get out there and pick some blueberries and make this!

This made almost 4 pints of blueberry jam. Feel free to increase or decrease as needed. Some like to do it in half pint jars...not me, we go through a lot of jelly/jam and I don't want to be constantly going to get a new jar.

Blueberry Jam
by Amanda @ Natural and Organic Lifestyle

4 lbs blueberries
2 1/4 cup organic sugar
1 cup water
4 sterilized pint jars and lids, keep warm while making jam

Wash and pick through blueberries, removing stems and leaves. Place in a large stainless steel pot. With a potato masher, crush the blueberries. They don't have to be completely crushed, just mush about a layer of them leaving some whole. Add water. Cook over medium heat, simmering until berries are tender. Add sugar and stir well. Boil rapidly, stirring often, until it reaches the jelling point.

Jelling point can be determined many ways, do your research. But I like to use a thermometer to keep an eye on it until it's almost there. At sea level the jelling point is around 220 degrees F. Before it hits 220, I place a small plate in the freezer. Once the temp gets close I pull the plate out and put a small spoonful of jam on it and place back in the freezer for a few minutes. To avoid overcooking you may want to remove the pot from heat while you wait to check it. When you pull it out, run your finger through the middle. If it runs right back together, you need to cook longer. If it slowly runs back together it will be a soft mold. For a harder mold you want it to not come back together but leave the line down the middle.

Once you've reached the jelling point, spoon jam into warm pint jars leaving 1/4 inch head space and put lids on. Process for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

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