Wednesday, May 11, 2011

30 Minute Blueberry 7 a.m.

One of my favorite books as a kid was Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. My parents recently found my book and gave it to me to that I could read it to Clay. He loves the book and when we were reading it before bed last night he asked if we could make blueberry jam in the morning. 

So, at 7 a.m. this morning we made blueberry jam. I found this simple recipe and laid everything out last night so that I would be ready as soon as he woke up. It only took us 30 minutes from start to finish to make the jam. It, of course, takes several hours to completely cool (and we put ours in the fridge after an hour or two to speed the process), but we took out a bowl full before it cooled to set aside to put on toast. 

What I love about this recipe is that it uses local, seasonal fruit and local honey. I used Pomona's Pectin, a natural pectin that works well with honey. 

The recipe makes 2 large jars or 4 small jars of blueberry jam. The jam, if prepared correctly, will last 3 weeks once opened in the fridge. 

Materials Needed: 2 large jars or 4 small jars, funnel for jars, masher, large pot, sauce pan, measuring cups and spoons, box of Pomona's Pectin and jar size tongs for getting jars out of the boiling water

Helpful Prep: Make it easier (especially if cooking with kids) by setting up your jam making area ahead of time. 
30 Minute Blueberry Jam in 7 Easy Steps
(only 30 minutes...really...and I had a 3 year old helping me)

1. Mash 4 cups of fresh, local blueberries (stems removed) in a pot. **Boil the Mason jars and rings while you are cooking so they are sanitized when you are ready to fill them. 
2. In a measuring cup, squeeze about 2 organic lemons to make 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Add 3/4-1 cup of local honey and whisk until combined. 
3. In a clean Mason jar, add 1/2 tsp calcium powder from the Pomona's Pectin (available at Wheatsville and other natural food stores) box with 1/2 cup of water. Screw on the lid and shake until diluted. Add 2 tsp of calcium water to the blueberries. You can store in the fridge for a few months to use in other recipes. 
4.Heat the blueberries on medium heat and add 2 tsp of the pectin from packet in the Pomona's Pectin box to the honey & lemon juice. 
5. Mash the berries with the masher that are simmering until only juice remains. **I also added some finely chopped mint (or basil would be good) from our garden at this step, but that is optional. 
6. Bring the juice to a boil, add the honey, pectin and lemon juice mix, stir and bring to a boil, then take off the heat. 
7. Make sure your jars are sanitized and ready to fill. Use the funnel to carefully fill the jars so that there is 1/4" left in the jar before screwing on the 2 piece lids. Put filled jars in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove from water and cool completely. Lids should be sucked down. 

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