Hudson Valley Bluberry Jam with Rosemary

So, apparently Ryan and Yo made some amazing blueberry-rosemary jam last week. I was green with envy and so decided to try it out myself. This is totally their recipe y’all – I am fully admitting that up front.<!

On Wednesday night, after a particularly hot & stuffy walk home I opened up the many containers of blueberries I have stashed from past share weeks and began to embark on this, my first ever adult jam making session (I’ve done it with ma & pa yeeeeears ago, but that doesn’t really count).

I was flying solo armed only with Eugene’s colorful directions “just chuck all the ingredients in a pot and heat them up. boil the jars and bung it all together. Oh, and make sure to let the jars cool upside down”. Hmmm…i also had a little help from Pick Your Own which provided a useful, if not advertisement riddled, step by step guide.

How hard could it be?

Ingredients:

  • Blueberries – about 5 lbs
  • Rosemary sprigs – 4 (according to Yo)
  • Lemons – juice of about 3 of them
  • Sugar in the raw – 1 cup
  • Pectin – about 3 teaspoons (read the manufacturers instructions for quantities)
  • Jam jars – about 6 small

Key: green = from the csa

Step 1

After cleaning your jars put them into a boiling pot of water for about 10-15 mins. This will sterilize them. Don’t add the lids! Put the lids separately into hot water for 10 mins. You don’t want to ruin the rubber. I didn’t realize this till I scrolled down the instructions. I am an idiot – note to self – but it worked out ok. Take out and let cool or leave in the water till you’re ready to ladle the jam into them.

Whilst all the sterilizing mumbo jumbo is going on, make the jam.

Step 2

Wash & sort the berries, removing old shriveled ones, moldy ones, generally damaged ones that you don’t like the look of and any stalks. I floated them in a bowl of water and combed my fingers through.

Step 3

Squash them. You can mash them with a potato masher, I did it by hand whilst watching The Daily Show to distract me. Probably not the best idea because those little buggers are rather elusive and it took AGES! Now I understand why grapes are squashed traditionally by foot… I tried not to squish them too much as didn’t want them to be water = pulp – rather to keep them more mixed in together.

Step 4

Heat them on the stove till they begin to boil. Turn down heat to a simmer

Step 5

Add pectin dissolved in the lemon juice so there are no lumps, sugar and sprigs of rosemary. And simmer for a little bit (I say “little bit” because really I just did it till it tasted nice. I don’t think you need to do it for too long – but any jam making folks out there, let me know how long I should’ve done it for).

Really handy tip here – keep a teaspoon in iced water. Then scoop out a little jam and let it cool on the spoon. You can then tell how runny or jelly-like it is and whether to add more pectin or curse because you added too much.

Step 6

When the jam is ready – I’d say about 20 mins or so or whenever the episode of Daily Show is done – ladle the jam into the jars. I used a super duper handy jam funnel thingy – so I didn’t get the jam everywhere. Screw the lids on tight and either plop them back into the boiling water for 5 mins to REALLY sterilize them, or don’t bother (like me) and just pop them upside down to cool.

Step 7

Next day – check the jars to make sure the lids have not popped up and are all secure. Then the jam should be solid to store for about a year or so (or more, like in the old, less scared of food poisoning days). Any lids that popped – refrigerate them and eat them asap.

But check the internet for more info on sterilization and canning – I’m not all read up.

Taste the jam and adjust the recipe nest time a little to your liking. I also might strain the berries a little before adding the other ingredients for clear jam for my sometimes-fussy husband. But most likely I will tell him “if you want it that way then YOU bloody make it!

Tip – clean up right away. When the jam cools it become really hard and also difficult to clean up. you’ll need to do another sweep through the next day if you did this at night, like I did and missed half the little splatters.

Ummm…that’s it.

2 Responses

  1. can you make this without pectin?

    • yes. jam w/out pectin tends to be more runny & need more sugar. i (ryan) typically make pectin-less jam while yo likes to play w/ pectin. yo says without pectin it is more like a sauce….kinda just personal preference as far as texture, etc.

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