Sunday, July 14, 2013

Blueberry Lime Jam

A friend of mine loaned me her older Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning and Freezing.  Older, in fact, than me.  But it has tons of recipes and ideas, so I thought I could at least take a flip through it.  In my search for ways to can blueberries, I found a recipe in this book for blueberry lime jam.  And lucky me, I just happen to have a whole mess of limes in the fridge with no real purpose.  What I did not have in stock, however, was the two pouches of liquid pectin.  Truth be told, I've never used pectin before.  I prefer the sugar + fruit recipes personally.  Ah well, may as well get around to using it!

Blueberry Lime Jam
-4 1/2 cups blueberries, washed and drained
-1 tbsp grated lime peel
-1/3 cup lime juice
-6 1/2 cups sugar
-2 pouches liquid pectin

Place blueberries in a large saucepot.  Add lime peel, lime juice, and sugar.  Mix well.  Bring mixture to full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in pectin***.  Pour, hot, into jars, leaving 1/4" head space.  Process 15 minutes in water bath.

Remember how I said that I'm stubborn, I take shortcuts, and am sometimes lazy?  Well.  I know it said to add the blueberries to the stockpot first, but they were damp from being rinsed, so I just thought I'd measure out the sugar first, then get the sugar residue out of the measuring cup with the water from the blueberries.  Honestly.  I wasn't even going to use the damn cup after I was done, I don't know why I found this necessary.  DON'T DO WHAT I DID.  It made this simple recipe a butt pain.

Also, did you even read that recipe?  SIX cups of sugar to 4 cups of blueberries!  That is a mess of sugar.  Go on and buy the biggest bag of sugar you can find.  Especially if you're gonna do some for real canning.

Took me about 3 limes to get my 1/3 of a cup.

Yeah, this is why they say add the blueberries first.  This is again one of those times I'd like to go back and smack myself in the head.  Anyway if you do it like you're supposed to, your pot will hopefully not ever look like this, and will instead just look like...


Rolling boil and whatnots.  Next add the two pouches of liquid pectin, and see below.

***Any safety tips for canning article will tell you not to use older canning recipes.  Well personally, I don't like to abide by rules, even though you definitely should.  One thing I like less than rules, though, is botulism.  And even less than that, non jelling jam.  So to be safe, I read the instructions that came with the pectin to see if there were any differences.  It said to let the jam boil steady for 1 minute after adding the pectin, whereas the book recipe called for you to pour the pectin in and then ladle it directly into the jars.  I did the 1 minute boil to be safe, and everything worked out fine, so I'd recommend that.  Better safe than dead from botulism.

I generally skip pics of the water bath canner, but you stick these bad boys in a big boiling stockpot for 15 minutes.  The canning guru who taught me the craft told me to use a cookie sheet lined with a hand towel.  Not only can you move everything with ease once you're done, it will also contain any mess in the event of a cracked jar.

Here's the result!  I was pretty curious about how it would taste, but I must say that the lime really compliments the flavor of the blueberry.  Hubs was immediately bugging me about how soon he'd be able to eat some more.  One great thing about this recipe is that it had a fairly high yield versus how many blueberries you have to use.  Eight half pints from 4 1/2 cups of blueberries is pretty awesome.  There will be sooo many of these bad boys in the Christmas baskets this year!

Jam on, friends.

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