TEN-MINUTE BLUEBERRY JAM

BlueberriesThis recipe is living proof that sometimes simplest is best.  Fresh blueberries and sugar are the only ingredients and they make for a jam that’s full of fresh blueberry flavor.  Blueberries have both the qualities needed for a successful jam – a good balance of sweetness and acidity and plenty of natural pectin to make the jam jell nicely. 

Here’s how to calculate the amounts:  A pint of blueberries weighs about 10 ounces and you’ll 7 1/2 ounces or 1 cup of sugar, that’s it.  This is best made in small quantities of up to 3 pints of blueberries.  In quantities more than a pint of berries, make sure to use a wider pan so that the mixture is only a couple of inches deep in the pan or it will take longer to cook.

Makes a generous pint of jam

1 pint fresh blueberries

1 cup sugar

A 2-quart saucepan, plus a canning jar and lid or plastic container with cover

  1. Put the blueberries on a jellyroll pan and pick over them to remove any stems, shriveled or green berries.  Put the berries in a strainer and rinse them under cold running water.  Place the wet berries in the saucepan.
  2. Stir the sugar into the berries and place on medium-high heat.  Stir occasionally as the berries heat so that the sugar starts to melt evenly.  As soon as a few of the berries burst and release liquid the sugar will easily dissolve.
  3. Bring the jam to a full rolling boil, then turn down the heat to medium.  Let the jam simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  When it’s ready the jam with be slightly thickened, not thick.  If you cook it until it’s very thick it will turn to blueberry flavored tar after it cools.
  4. When the jam starts to boil bring a pan of water to a boil and put the jar and lid into the boiling water to sterilize them.  Boil for a minute, then remove from heat, leaving the jar and lid in the hot water.  If you’re using a plastic container, use tongs to give the container and lid a quick dip into the boiling water.
  5. Pour the boiling jam into the drained jar to within 1/4-inch of the top.  Wipe any drips on the rim of the jar and the sides with a clean damp cloth.  Put the lid in place and screw it shut.  Cool to room temperature.
  6. Keep the jam refrigerated (the jar might seal but it’s not fully processed in a pressure canner), and use it within a month.

QUICK CHANGE:  BLUEBERRY PANCAKE OR WAFFLE TOPPING

Mix a cup of this jam with 1/4 cup water; puree half in a food processor or blender.  Mix both halves in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and bring to a simmer.  Serve warm.

Off to the airport in a couple of hours; updates next week from Zurich and Vienna...