Last year I made blueberry jam for the first time using a non-cook method. This year I wanted to compare it with a cooked jam and found this recipe in the cookbook We Sure Can! by Sarah B. Hood, published by Arsenal Pulp Press. As you can see, this recipe is very generous with its results!
You begin by mashing six cups of blueberries. I put them in my Dutch oven and used a potato masher. It was easier this year because I was not using those tiny wild blueberries but still, not easy on the hands.
Then I added 3/4 cup water and 3 tbsp of lemon juice. You are also supposed to add one vanilla bean which I did not have. I used vanilla bean paste instead but added it at the end.
I brought everything to a boil and then removed from heat.
I added 1 2 oz box of powdered pectin and stirred until completely dissolved.
I returned the pot to low heat and simmered for 5 minutes. Then I removed it from heat, covered and let stand for an hour.
I returned it to the stove, bringing it to a boil. Then I removed from heat and added six cups of sugar, stirring until everything dissolved. I used a combination of a more natural sugar and regular sugar for the jam.
Then I brought it back to the heat, up to a boil and cooked at a rolling boil, stirring frequently and skimming off the foam. I did not have the heat on high because I did not want to scorch the bottom but I did have it high enough that it bubbled even after I stirred it. I did this for around 20 minutes.
The cookbook lists many different methods on checking to see if the jam is ready. I chose the chilled saucer method. I put a saucer in the freezer for a few minutes and then dropped some of the jam on it. If it is ready, it quickly thickens up which it did.
If you used a vanilla bean, you should remove it at this point. I added some vanilla bean paste and stirred it in. I love how you can see all the vanilla beans suspended in mid-air!
The jam got all dark, thick and shiny. It looked beautiful!
How did it taste? It is lovely. The vanilla works nicely with the blueberries and it is very dense and rich. Personally though, I prefer the fresh flavour of the non-cooked blueberry jam more, even though it was quite watery in comparison. That said, this is a stunning cooked jam. I give it four out of five wooden spoons.
The only problem? It took so long to make I had no energy to properly can it so I have all these jars of jam in my freezer. I promise, the next batch of jam I will properly jar. I just have to wait until I have a whole day to focus on this one project.
I have put a poll on my blog for you to vote for the jam you want me to make next so don’t forget to vote!