blueberry jam recipe – use real butter (2024)

blueberry jam recipe – use real butter (1) Recipe: blueberry jam

We’re just a couple weeks away from summer and everyone I know is busy doing stuff. I can’t keep track of who is where and doing what and when anymore (forget about keeping track on Facebook, the only thing in my feed the past few days has been the Red Wedding). We have been working on so many things around here that the local flora has been popping up like a surprise party.

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Last year, when I started on my canning kick, I felt like I was in a frenzy to grab up the local peaches and ripe strawberries and ripe local luscious wonderful tomatoes. But when I said (in my head) that I would like to make some blueberry jam, I found that organic blueberries were prohibitively expensive. At $6 a pint, one batch of jam would cost me $36 for the blueberries alone. Screw that, I said to myself. Besides, I had a hundred pounds of tomatoes to can. No blueberry jam.

My friend, Laura, gave me a heads up on a one-day special at Whole Foods Boulder last Friday: $1.99 per pint of organic blueberries. Hello?! I was in town that day. I bought a case. Weekend project: blueberry jam.

you are mine

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six pints of blueberries

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all you need: sugar, lemon, cinnamon, nutmeg, pectin, and blueberries

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The first thing to do is squish the blueberries. I tried mashing them with a heavy meat tenderizer and they sort of went zipping out of the bowl. I set the meat tenderizer down and decided to squash them by hand, one by one. The point is to break the skin so the juices release and come into contact with the sugar otherwise the sugar will be too dry and may burn during the jamming process. It’s a good activity for non-skilled associates (children, spouses, other relations, friends, even strangers), but I don’t recommend asking the dog to help. I found it to be rather therapeutic. Also, my fingers didn’t stain (much) because blueberry guts are almost colorless and the skins didn’t seem to release much of their deep color on my hands.

i’m crushing your head (who remembers that skit?!)

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mix the sugar with the crushed berries

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zest and juice the lemon while the berries boil

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Once the blueberries and sugar have come to a boil, add the spices, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Give it a good stir and return everything to a boil until it thickens. It takes about 20 minutes. As the jam thickens, it will start to spatter. That can be scary since you have to stir the jam frequently to keep it from sticking or burning on the bottom of the pan. A splatter screen is a great way to keep your kitchen from acquiring purple dots everywhere. Stir the pectin in when the jam is thick and let it boil another 5 minutes.

grating nutmeg

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add the lemon juice

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pouring the pectin into the jam

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You don’t have to can the jam if you don’t want to. I made two batches of jam and had three leftover jars that wouldn’t fit in the canner, so I popped them into the refrigerator for immediate consumption/gifting. If you do decide the can the jam, give it 1/2 inch headspace and you’re good to go. My writeup of the recipe below gives instructions for canning with both Weck and Ball jars because I use both. I used some of the refrigerator jam with yogurt and it was delightful!

just a few spoonfuls of jam with a cup of yogurt

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year #2 of canning is underway!

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Blueberry Jam
[print recipe]
from Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan

6 cups smashed blueberries (this is about 6 dry pints or 1.7 kg blueberries)
4 cups (800g) sugar
1 lemon, juice and zest of
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
6 oz. (170 ml or 2 packets) liquid pectin

Notes: I have made this recipe using both Weck and Ball jars. The Weck site has some nice canning instructions if you are using their jars, which differ slightly from the standard instructions for canning with Ball-style jars. Marisa uses pint jars in her book recipe, but I used 8-ounce jars and 5-ounce jars. The yield is estimated at 3 1-pint jars, but mine yielded slightly more.

Canning prep: Ready the boiling water bath and the clean (washed with soap and water) jars you plan to use for canning. Check your jars and lids for nicks or cracks – don’t use them if they have any because it could jeopardize creating a good seal. If using standard Ball or similar style jars, it helps to put them in the pot you plan to use for canning and fill them (and the pot) with water, then bring to a boil. Keep the jars at a simmer (180°F) until they are ready to use. Place the lids in a small saucepan with enough water to cover them and set to a simmer over low heat (high heat can compromise the gummy seal material). If using Weck jars, you only need to sterilize your jars and glass lids if they will be processed for less than 10 minutes. Place the rubber rings in a small saucepan of water and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes then leave them in the hot water until you are ready to use them.

Make the blueberry jam: Combine the smashed blueberries and sugar in a large non-reactive pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the blueberries and boil 15-20 minutes. Stir the jam frequently to avoid burning at the bottom of the pan. When the jam has thickened and looks shiny, stir in the liquid pectin. Let it return to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Remove the jam from heat and start ladling jam into the jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Can the jam: Use a cloth to wipe the rims clean and apply the lids and rings of the Ball-style jars to fingertip tight (just tightened with fingertips – not super tight). If using Weck jars, place the rubber rings on the glass lids and set them on the jars. Secure the lids with two canning clamps for each jar – 180° from each other (across from each other). Set the jars in your canning bath (either on a jar rack or a makeshift cooling rack – just be sure they are not set directly on the bottom of the pot) and check that there is at least 1-2 inches of water above the lids of the jars – if not, add more water. Once the pot has returned to a boil, process for 10 minutes if you are at an altitude of sea-level to 1,000 feet above sea level (asl). For 1,001 to 3,000 feet asl, add another 5 minutes to the 10 minute processing time. For 3,001 to 6,000 feet asl, add 10 minutes to the 10 minute processing time. For 6,001 to 8,000 feet asl, add another 15 minutes to the 10 minute processing time. And finally, for 8,001 to 10,000 feet asl add an additional 20 minutes to the 10 minute processing time for a total of 30 minutes.

When the jams are done processing, remove them from the canning bath and place them on a towel-lined countertop to let them cool. Don’t mess with them! For the metal lids, you may hear the “ping” of the seals forming as the center of the lid gets sucked down. There will be no pinging of the Weck lids, but you may notice the tongue of the rubber band pointing down (this is good). Let the jars cool for 24 hours. Remove the bands or clamps and lift the jar an inch or so off your work surface (carefully – in case the seal is bad and breaks) by the lid. If the seal is good, it should hold. Store the jars in a cool, dark location for up to a year (take the clamps and rings off). Also, any jar with a bad seal can be stored in the refrigerator.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to can the jam, you can store it in the refrigerator (I think for up to a year). Makes 3 1-pint (500 ml) jars or 6 8-ounce (250 ml) jars.

blueberry jam recipe – use real butter (16)

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blueberry jam recipe – use real butter (21)

June 5th, 2013: 11:33 pm
filed under canning, fruit, gluten-free, recipes, sweet

blueberry jam recipe – use real butter (2024)


Why use butter in jam making? ›

The butter prevents the jam from foaming while you're cooking it - the foam is unattractive and spoils the appearance of the jam. Adding a little butter eliminates this problem."

How do you thicken homemade blueberry jam? ›

The easiest way to thicken your jam is to allow the sugar and blueberry mixture to cook down by boiling. Then thicken and set into a gel by using pectin. How long does it take for blueberry jam to set? 24 hours.

Why is my blueberry jam grainy? ›

Your jam will have a grainy texture if the sugar has not dissolved in the jam, or if you scraped down the pot sides when pouring the hot jam into your hot jars.

What is the secret in making jam? ›

Pectin, naturally found in fruit is vital to make your jam set. With low-pectin fruits like strawberries, help them along by either mixing with pectin-rich fruit like gooseberries or by using jam sugar (with added pectin and citric acid).

Does butter stop jam from foaming? ›

Adding a teaspoon or so of butter to the cooking jam will also decrease the foam. Once you have removed the jam from the heat, but before adding it to the canning jars, you can stir vigorously and usually stir the foam down.

Why is my blueberry jam so thick? ›

If jam comes out too stiff, it is often caused by overcooking fruit or the fruit spread having too much pectin. Pectin is naturally found in fruit and creates the gel and thickens jams and jellies.

Why isn t my blueberry jam thickening? ›

Some fruits have natural pectin and thicken well without help. Other fruits must have pectin added. You can add pectin to any jam to speed the thickening process. To get a thick jam, I add pectin (powdered for fruit jams, liquid for pepper jellies), and cook the heck out of it.

Does lemon juice thicken jam? ›

I do occasionally add a satchel of lemon wedges to a jam when I know there is likely to be lower amounts of pectin, like with strawberries. This helps add extra pectin that the berries don't have, but in lower amounts than if I were adding commercial pectin.

Can you overcook blueberry jam? ›

There are some ways to salvage overcooked jam. You usually don't have to toss the whole thing, unless it is scorched. If the jam tastes burnt, you might as well face facts and just get it out of your sight and into the garbage. There is no way to rehabilitate scorched jam.

Why didn't my blueberry jam set? ›

If there isn't enough pectin in the fruit itself and you don't add extra pectin, the result is runny jelly or jam. Additionally, if the fruit is overripe, its pectin levels are lower. Added pectin comes in a couple of forms. You can find powdered pectin and liquid pectin at grocery stores and online.

How do you fix blueberry jam that didn't set? ›

To remake cooked jelly or jam using liquid pectin for each 250 mL (1 cup) jelly or jam, measure and combine 45 mL (3 tbsp) sugar, 7 mL (11 /2 tsp) bottled lemon juice and 7 mL ( 11/2 tsp) liquid pectin. Bring jam or jelly to a boil stirring constantly. Add the sugar, lemon juice and pectin combination.

What is the difference between blueberry jam and blueberry preserves? ›

Preserves have larger pieces of fruit while jam is made with mashed fruit and is usually thicker. How long do blueberry preserves last? Since these preserves are not canned they only last about a week and need to be refrigerated.

What is the ratio of sugar to berries when making jam? ›

(2)Most jam recipes call for a 1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar. I usually use a 75 % ratio, or 1 ½ pounds of sugar to every 2 pounds of fruit, unless the fruit is not very sweet, in which case, I adjust accordingly.

How did they make jam in the old days? ›

The first European sugar preserves made use of that seemingly magical substance, honey. The earliest fruit preserves would be made by mixing fruit pulp with honey and allowing it to dry in the sun, creating a texture more like that of a jellied sweet.

What gives jam its consistency? ›

Jams are made from crushed or ground fruit and usually have a thick consistency due to high pectin content.

What does butter do for flavor? ›

Butter offers a richer flavor and its fat adds to the texture of baked goods. Margarine will create flatter cookies, less flavor, and tends to break down when frying.

Does butter make jam go Mouldy? ›

Mouldy Jam - It's not the Jam that goes mouldy, it's the butter. Use a clean knife to avoid getting butter in the jam jar.

Do jam sandwiches need butter? ›

Jam is obviously quite firm and sticky, so you don't really need the butter to protect the bread. Also, jam is much harder to spread onto butter than it is on just the bread. But – you do you, it's certainly not uncommon to butter your jam sandwiches!

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