In my high school home economics class we briefly covered canning food. What I took away from that section of the course was 1) pressure cookers can explode like a bomb, raining shrapnel all over your kitchen, and 2) botulism will kill you. To this day I still check for bulging lids before opening a can from the grocery store.
While this is good safety information to have, I don't think the joy of canning really got through to me. In fact, the thought of it terrified me. It wasn't until my in-laws brought over a big box of tomatoes one summer and helped me "put up" the whole batch that I thought just maybe I could give this whole canning thing a whirl.
I'd love to report at this point that I've become a canning whiz and that my pantry shelves are lined with mason jars, filled to the brim with the goodness of summer's bounty. It's not. Maybe if I had a productive garden, I'd be tempted to drag out my canning paraphernalia. But, as I've mentioned before, the only thing that's doing well in my garden is my blueberries.
So, blueberry jam it is. I'm not a seasoned expert at jam, but this one is pretty simple, and if you're only making one batch, you don't even really need to seal it. Just spread on bread and enjoy. It's packed with a lot of flavor and zero High Fructose Corn Syurp. Yeah!
This is my entry for the Under The High Chair Virtual Jam Swap. If you'd like to participate, clink on the link for details.
Lemon Blueberry Preserves
- adapted from Sky High
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1- If using frozen blueberries, thaw them completely in a bowl, saving any juices.
2- Puree the blueberries with any juices they've exuded in a blender. Pass the puree through a coarse strainer to remove the skins.
3- In a heavy, medium, nonreactive saucepan, combine the blueberry puree with the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and ginger. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Continue cooking, stirring often, for 20 minutes, until the preserves have thickened and are reduced to 1 cup or pass the thickness test. Place 1 tsp of the mixture on a small glass or ceramic plate and put it in the freezer until cold. Drag your finger through the thickened puree; a clear path should remain. If it's not ready cook 5 minutes longer and repeat the test. Pour the hot preserves into a hot jam jar and seal with a clean, hot lid. Or, if you're going to use it right away, let the preserves cool, then place in a clean jar, cover, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.