Friday, July 22, 2011

BLUEBERRY GINGER JAM



It is July and the blueberries are ripe and plentiful, which made for a very busy weekend for me. A friend dropped off a cardboard box full of plump, juicy, fresh from the bush  blueberries and I was anxious to preserve every last delicious one. 

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Blueberries have been riding high on the antioxidant campaign wagon for several years now, in part because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) places blueberries near the top of their list when it comes to antioxidant activity, but blueberries also offer 14 mg of Vitamin C per serving – almost 25 percent of your daily requirement. Vitamin C aids in the formation of collagen, promotes iron absorption (great benefit for us women), and helps maintain healthy gums and capillaries.

In the United States, early New England settlers preserved fruits and berries with honey, molasses, or maple sugar, with pectin extracted from apple parings used to thicken jellies. This recipe, like many of my others, replaces the sugar used in modern day jam and jelly making, with honey. I also used homemade pectin, so my jam is a little 'runny', but still delicious.  If you don't have homemade pectin, never fear, purchase your pectin at the nearest grocery store,  just make sure to get the "No Sugar" box. Of course, if you prefer sugar to honey (the finished product does have a different flavor) purchase the regular pectin and follow the instructions inside the box.

Jam should only be made in small batches –  no more than 6 to 7 cups (cooked fruit) at a time - like the directions on the pectin counsel, DO NOT increase the recipes or the jam won't "set" properly. Please read directions through completely before beginning your jam.


BLUEBERRY GINGER JAM

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 to 2 qts. fresh Blueberries

2 tbsp. Lemon Juice

2 tsp. ground Ginger

1 tsp. fresh grated Ginger

4 cups Homemade Pectin or 1 pkg.  No Sugar Pectin

1 1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup water

3 or 4 half pint pint Canning Jars




DIRECTIONS

Wash and sort blueberries, remove stems, discard bad berries. Crush fully ripe blueberries completely, one layer at a time. You can do this by hand with a potato masher or by blending them coarsely in a food processor. Measure 4 cups of crushed fruit. Hold aside remaining uncrushed berries. (I usually add to make 1 full cup)

Place water a large kettle and stir in the lemon juice, and honey - cook over low heat until honey is dissolved . Place crushed berries into mixture and turn up heat to medium high. Stir constantly  until the mixture comes to a full boil. Add pectin and boil for another minute. Add uncrushed blueberries and return to a full  boil; boil hard 1 minute, reduce heat stirring constantly but gently for another 2 - 3 minutes (for store bought pectin).

For homemade pectin try this Refrigerator Test (good for testing jams, jellies, marmalades or other preserves.) Place a small amount of boiling jam on a cold metal plate; a large metal spoon will work also if a metal plate is unavailable. Put it into the freezer for a few minutes, then take it out. If the jam gels, its done. Remove your pan from the heat during this test to avoid overcooking the jam.

Remove jam from heat; skim off any foam with metal spoon; stir gently and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Ladle jam into hot, sterilized half pint glass jars, leaving 1/4" space at top.

Clean rims of jars and seal with lids. Process in Boiling Hot Water Bath for 5 minutes. 

Remove to racks.  Let cool overnight. 

This recipe should make about 7 cups or 3 to 4 half pints of jam.

Hot Water Bath or Pressure Canning ?

10 comments:

  1. I love to can and make blueberry jam every year. I had never thought of adding ginger to it. I can imagine that it needs a nice zip to it. I can't wait to try this! Buzzed :-)

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  2. This sounds delicious, I LOVE blueberries!

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  3. I am trying to get into canning this summer. The plan is to go blueberry picking tomorrow. The ginger blueberry combo sounds delicious!

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  4. I keep threatening to start canning...this just makes me want to try it more! Love the addition of ginger :) Buzzed!

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  5. Oooh! This looks great! I might try adding ginger to my blueberry-lime jam this year.

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  6. Lindsay, my tastebuds really love the ginger- blueberry combo, but I have seen a number of recipes for the blueberry-lime, how do you like that combo ??

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  7. It was by far last year's favorite jam. I used a recipe from Doris and Jilly Cook, and will probably use it for our Can-It-Forward party, since it's easy and crowd-pleasing.

    Link to the recipe: http://dorisandjillycook.com/2009/07/06/a-jam-primer-peach-cherry-and-blueberry/

    Info on our canning party: http://eatlocal365.com/2011/07/19/national-can-it-forward-day/

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  8. Next round of blueberries I'll give Lime a try, right now I'm going to check out the Canning Party. I have never been to one before so I think I might like to come to yours !

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  9. I'd love it if you came!! I don't know any other canners in "real life". :)

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  10. @Emiliy@Life On Food - Did you ever make any Blueberry Jam.

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