So the canning season was pretty productive in our home this past summer! As I shared in my previous post, I wasn’t able to plant my big garden this summer due to our yard conditions. So I kept my eyes open for good deals everywhere I went and also took advantage of “U-Pick” opportunities. Over the summer, we were shopping at a farm market and found an awesome deal, 2 pounds of blueberries for $4! That is a great deal! So we stocked up and bought 6 pounds with plans to make them into blueberry jam. I haven’t made a lot of jams or jellies before. In fact, I have only made jelly one other time and that was actually the first thing that we ever canned-cherry jelly. I will tell you that story another time.
So with 6 pounds of blueberries on our hands, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work! First round of canning for the season! After zero canning last summer, I was so excited to haul out my water bath canner and choose some empty canning jars from my shelf. This was our first time making a jam and I’m pretty happy with the results. We got a delicious flavor and just the right consistency. Just a warning, it will take a little bit of patience to get it just perfect!
We chose a pretty simple recipe and it is listed below. Hopefully you have as much fun making it as my husband and I did!
*Just a side note: When you are starting out with canning, I advise to get a good book to read to ensure that you are knowledgeable about the canning process. Anytime you are canning, you need to ensure the proper processes are followed to ensure that foods are processed safely. My favorite book on canning is: Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.*
16 cups blueberries (wash and sort to ensure no stems or bad fruit)
7 cups sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a stock pot-ensure that it is not more than 2/3 full or it will bubble over.
Mash all ingredients together with a potato masher-I also used my Kitchen-Aid immersion blender. This really did a good job smoothing out the jam and just left a few chunks of fruit in it.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Ensure that you are stirring frequently to prevent any sticking. Dependent on how much jam you are making it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for it to get to the right consistency. (I put a few spoons in the freezer and used these to test the jam throughout the process, just scoop a little out with your “freezer spoon” and let it sit for a minute to cool and then taste. Be careful not to burn your mouth! You should wait until it sets up to a thicker consistency when cooling in the spoon.)
Once it is the right thickness, fill jars leaving a ¼ inch head space and process jars for 10 minutes, take the lid off the canner and continue to process for 5 additional minutes. Remove jars and cool. Then enjoy a delicious treat…I’m thinking an English muffin topped with cream cheese then smothered in blueberry jam!