Friday, October 17, 2014

Blueberry Jam

I know, I know: this is all kinds of the wrong season for blueberry jam!  But, somehow I never managed to share this recipe over the summer, so you're getting it now -- definitely save it for next summer becaues this one is a keeper.  Tim and I went blueberry picking with our friends in Connecticut, and this delicious blueberry jam was one of the things I made.  It's not too sweet with lots of blueberry flavor -- so delicious!  And, the jam sets up much more quickly than other jams I've made that don't include added pectin, so you won't be standing over the stove for hours.  This jam makes any piece of toast special, and I'm so glad I have some jars stashed away for when the snow starts falling!

Blueberry Jam (adapted from Saving the Season by Kevin West)
Makes 5-6 half pints

2-1/2 pounds blueberries
1/2 cup water
3 cups sugar
1 T lime juice
1 T plus 1 tsp gin

1. Rinse and pick over the berries.  Combine in a large pot with the water, and gently heat, stirring often, until the berries begin to burst their skins.  Mash with a potato masher until most of the berries have been crushed.
2. Add the sugar and lime juice.  Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly, and then boil for 5-10 minutes, until the jam has gelled.  (I find the easiest way to test this is by putting spoons in the freezer and then dipping them into the jam to test.  Start at 5 minutes and keep testing until the jam gels on the cold spoon.)
3. Remove the jam from the heat, and stir in the gin.  Ladle into prepared jars (I got 5 half-pint jars, 1 quarter-pint jar, and a little extra in a bowl that we had with biscuits right away).  Leave 1/4-inch headspace.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes -- if this is your first time canning, read up on it before making this recipe!

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