By Erin Heard
You will need:
- canning pot for boiling water bath
- jar lifter
- a large pot for cooking down berries
- a few 250ml canning jars with snap lids
- clean washcloth to wipe jar tops
- 4c blueberries
- 3c granulated sugar
- 1TBSP lemon juice
We ended up with a 5lb box of blueberries from a fellow market vendor this weekend, so our recipe was tripled in size from the original. We skipped right past the 250ml jars and went right to the 500ml with how much jam my family eats! Start by rinsing berries in cold water and sorting out any mushy or bad berries and removing stems, leaves, and the likes. This was a perfect job for my 6 year old helper.
Next you will need to measure out your berries to make sure of your amounts. Mash them out just a bit to release some juices and then mix with the appropriate amount of sugar in a large pot. I will add here, that I needed to up to my pot size because sugar boils hard and fast and you do not want it boiling over. Add your lemon juice and mix. It should look similar to this:
Heat on low, stirring occasionally, until it begins to bubble. Simmer slowly until sugar dissolves. Slowly increase heat to bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Allow to boil hard for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until it thickens. Test a little on a chilled saucer for consistency (you want it to be the thickness of jam).
This was the whole stove during that time; jam boiling away, jars sterilizing in a boiling bath, and lids also in a hot water bath. I also need to note here, that I had a hard time finding a jar lift that would fit inside my pots. I improvised by placing the lids of mason jars at the bottom of my pot, to prevent the jars from touching the bottom of the pot.
Once your jam has reduced to a nice thick consistency, it is time to can it! Remove your jars with the jar lifter tongs and place on a towel on your counter. (I use my kitchen table, but please place a wooden chopping block or similar heat block down, as the heat will leave rings from the jars on your table!)
Using the funnel, fill your hot jars with the jam to within ¼ inch of the top. Using a damp cloth, wipe the rims of the jars to remove any syrup that may have dripped. Place the sterilized metal lids on jars and screw metal bands on securely. From here, I put them in a boiling water bath for five minutes to assurance against spoilage. Make sure there is at least 1 inch of water above the jars. Remove from bath and place back on the towel on the counter and let cool. You will hear the glorious “ping”’ of each jar sealing as it cools!
We left a little out in a bowel for the kids to eat with fresh bread. This is all that is left currently:
Enjoy the last days of summer with your families and we hope you enjoy some of our family’s favorite recipes!
Erin Heard is a mother to three adventurous girls, and the owner of Cosy Baby Happy Mommy Inc. You can find her award winning baby carriers online at www.cosybabyhappymommy.com, as well as on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cosybabyhappymommy.