Introduction: Spiced Blueberry Jam
This is an easy and delicious recipe for Spiced Blueberry Jam. The recipe itself is from Alton Brown, so you know it has to be good. It has a strong blueberry flavor, with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and anise. The jam goes well with just about everything, from toast, chicken, pork (my favorite), and even a plain old spoon. Enjoy!
Step 1: Ingredients and Supplies
Here is an overview of what you will need for the entire process.
1 1/2 lbs . Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
3 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Water
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
5 Tablespoons (2 1/2 oz) Cider Vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Star Anise (finely ground)
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
10 - 20 grinds fresh Nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon pre-ground)
1 (1 3/4 oz) Packet of dry Pectin
Large Stockpot or Canning Kettle
Medium Large Saucepan
Long Set of Pliers or a magnetic Lid-Wand (something for grabbing the lids)
Canning Funnel (optional, but highly recommended)
Canning Tongs (again, optional, but highly recommended)
6 (8 oz.) Jars (with rings and lids)
Dish Towel or Canning Rack (for holding the cans off of the bottom of the pot)
Step 2: Making the Jam
1. You need to grind up the spices, especially the star anise. Put them in the coffee grinder until finely ground.
2. Place blueberries in the saucepan over medium-low heat. Sprinkle with the pectin, followed by the cider vinegar, spice mixture, and lemon juice.
3. Once liquid starts to gather in the bottom of the saucepan, bring the heat up to high, and bring to a boil.
4. After reaching a boil, lower the heat slightly and boil gently for 5 minutes, mashing it occasionally.
5. Mash in the sugar, and add the water. Return to a boil for 1 minute.
Congratulations! You've just made jam! Now, to the preserving section!
Step 3: Preparing the Jars
While the jam is cooling, it is important to prepare the jars for preservation. Firstly we need to sanitize them.
1. Wash all hardware (everything that is ever going to touch the jam) thoroughly in hot soapy water.
2. Fill your stockpot 3/4 of the way full with water, and put your dish towel/canning rack into the bottom.
3. Place ALL hardware (excluding lids) into the stockpot so that it is completely submerged by at least 1 inch.
4. Bring to a boil, cover and continue to boil for at least 10 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat, wait 5 minutes, and then add the lids.
Step 4: Canning the Jam
1. Remove the ladle, tongs, funnel and other tools from the pot, while being careful, to a clean dish cloth or paper towel.
2. Using the jar tongs, remove the jars from the pot, and place them carefully on the towel. Avoid rock or metal surfaces which could cause thermal damage.
3. Place the funnel in the first jar, (be sure to pick it up by the ring, avoiding the sterile interior). Use the ladle to fill each jar to the bottom of the funnel. The extra space, called 'headspace' is needed for a proper seal.
4. Use your pliers/magnetized device to carefully position the lids on top of the jars, being careful not to touch them.
5. Screw the rings as hard as you can (using only your fingers) and be checking for cracks and fractures at the same time.
Step 5: Preserving the Jars
1. Place your dish towel or canning rack down into the stockpot again.
2. Using the tongs, carefully lower the filled jars under water. They have to be completely submerged, and shouldn't be touching the bottom, nor each other.
3. Bring to a hard boil, for however long is necessary (look at chart*). But be sure not to start your timer until a true boil is reached.
4. Once that is done, remove you jars with the tongs, and let them sit for at least 24 hours before opening.
* Processing times: Within 1,000 feet of sea level: 5 minutes
1,000 - 3,000 feet above sea level: 10 minutes
3,001- 6,000 feet above sea level: 15 minutes
6,000 - 8,000 feet above sea level: 20 minutes
Above 8,000 feet: wait until you're back down at base camp
Step 6: Finishing Up
So there you have it! You have successfully created Spiced Blueberry Jam. You can keep them at room temperatures, but once they've been opened, keep them in the refrigerator. All you need to do now is get some toast, or maybe just a spoon, and enjoy your jam!