Thursday, June 20, 2013

Making Blueberry Jam

This coming Friday, the 21st of June,  is the first official day of Summer.   Summertime, the month of June, and blueberries all go together.  By the time June rolls around we know it is time to go down to the blueberry patch to pick blueberries.  Here in Tallahassee they begin to ripen the first week in June and continue until about the second week of July.

Every other day I walk down and pick all the blueberries that have ripened, wash them really well,  put them in freezer bags, and wait until I get enough to make jam. 

Blueberry Patch

There is something so peaceful about picking blueberries. I am always surprised the birds have not gotten them before we do.  Around here it is usually a good idea to wait to early evening when the sun has gone down a little and the temperatures have dropped slightly.

If some pink berries are picked,  I just leave them out on the counter over night,  
and they ripen and turn blue.

The complete Blueberry Jam Recipe will follow at the end of this post.

If I don't get around to making the jam right away, the blueberries freeze very well for a couple of months.

You can see the frost on the blueberries in the below photo. They just came out of the freezer.  If you run water over them they will defrost quickly and be ready to go in the blender.

In the below photo is everything you will need for making blueberry jam, except for the large pot for heating the jars and lids and another large pot for cooking the jelly.  There are blueberries, sugar, Fruit Pectin,  jelly jars which include the lids, caps and labels, lemons and a blender.

You  are probably already familiar with Fruit Pectin, the ingredient that turns the berry juice into jam.
It is really the magic potion for jelly and jam making.  Enclosed in the Fruit Pectin package are complete jelly making instructions plus several jelly/jam recipes.

Wash and rinse the jelly/jam jars,  plus the lids and caps,  in hot soapy water.  
Rinse everything really well!

The below recipe will tell you how much berry juice you will need.  I put the whole berries in the blender and blend them very well.  The mixture will be very thick.  It is easier to blend the berries in segments with the blender being about half full.  Put the blended juice in a large bowl ... that way it will be easy to measure out for your recipe.  Also, the blended juice is very freezable.

At this point you will need a very large pot for cooking the jelly.  (I was busy making the jelly and totally forgot to take a picture of the jelly cooking.)  Measure out the Blueberry juice, lemon juice, sugar and mix well.  Bring to  a full rolling boil and cook for just 1 minute stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and immediately stir in the Fruit Pectin.  Skim off foam, stir and skim off foam again.  Ladle into hot, sterilized jars and seal.

For some reason you cannot double the recipe.  So I just did the process a couple of times.
This recipe makes about 8 jars of jam.

The jelly jar package comes with write-in labels as in the below photo.  They are very pretty and I sometimes do use them.  Then, other times I like to make my own labels especially if I plan to give the jam as gifts.

While I was at Walmart the other day I picked up some of these Avery Oval Labels,  which are fun to use.  You can follow the directions and design your own labels. 

Many years ago our children gave our home the name, "Hidden Hollow."  So, that is the name I put on the jam labels.   

As you can see, after designing and then printing the labels on the printer,
 the labels peel up for easy use.

The labels are very easy to design on your computer and then print on the printer.

Well, after all that I am ready for a peanut butter and jelly (jam) sandwich!

Let's open a jar and see if we actually do have jam.

 Looks like the jam turned out nicely.  
I made a snack of peanut butter and jelly toast,  and it was really good!

Blueberry Jam Recipe
I found this recipe several years ago at

4 1/2 cups crushed (in the blender) blueberries
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
7 cups sugar 
2 pouches liquid Pectin
  • Clean the berries carefully removing any leaves or stems. Clean berries with running water.
  • Crush berries and measure 4 1/2 cups crushed fruit.
  • Put berries into a large heavy pot.  Add lemon juice and sugar; mix well.  
  • Place over high heat, stirring, and bring to a full rolling boil.
  • Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat; stir in Pectin at once.
  • Skim off foam, stir and skim off foam again.
  • Ladle into hot, sterilized jars and seal. 
  • If desired, process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath. (Recommended.)
  • Makes about 7 pints.

The blueberries in the grocery store are a good bargain at this time of year.  So, if you don't have a blueberry patch, you can pick-up some blueberries at the grocery store and make jam if you would like.  If you make this jam recipe I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Wishing you a very happy day with many blessings wherever you may be.

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