Canning was a forbidden topic in the household.
Awhile back I made strawberry conserve (you can get the recipe here) to use in a buttercream. My canning experience didn’t go so hot, but I chalked that up to not having any proper equipment. So I borrowed my mother-in-law’s huge canning pot, bought all the tools that would make life easy (jar tongs are a must) and let everything sit and collect dust on our balcony until we moved to Vancouver.
So when I mentioned trying canning again, it was met with eye rolls and muttering. I had an itch to make blueberry jam and so a Saturday morning was spent picking 11 pounds of blueberries. Plenty to make jam with.
I found adding all that sugar to make jam a bit disturbing. A lot of sugar makes sense as it aids in the preserving process and helps to gel. I used the blueberry jam recipe from Well Preserved: Small Batch Preserving for the New Cook which is a great book for getting into canning and for those who don’t want to can a zillion jars. I’ve made the salsa that won’t last long in this household. Other recipes I’m itching to try: Spiced Blackberry and Apple Jam (great for fall), Red Pepper and Orange Jelly and the Curried Apple Chutney.
Don’t forget jam just isn’t for bread. It’s amazing with some brie and crackers or warmed up makes a great syrup for pancakes or waffles. You can also put in yogurt, use it for thumbprint cookies, or little mini pies.
– Don’t try and use a small pot. The jam will boil up considerably and you will have a huge mess on your hands.
– Long sleeves are a good idea. Even the smallest splash back from jam will hurt. All that boiling sugar and all.
– 220F is a good rule of thumb to tell when your jam is done. It’s easier to take the temperature than to see how it sets on a white plate.
– Make sure to wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth. That way you won’t have any food bits ruining the seal.
Recipe for blueberry jam here.by