August 27, 2011

Black & Blue

While Hurricane Irene is approaching,  I'm doing what any sensible girl would do...  making jam.  I like the simplicity of freezer jam because you still get all the flavor of summer fruit,  but it is quicker and easier than sealing everything in a water bath and let's be honest,  sometimes a girl just needs a "shortcut".

This recipe will take approximately 20 minutes from start to finish,  then the jars will sit for a few hours and it's done.  How easy is that?!  The best part about this is making whatever flavor combination you like.  That's the fun part of cooking,  there really aren't many "rules" when it comes to combining flavors.  If you like it,  that's what counts.

I bought my berries in the middle of summer when they were at their peak and stored them in the freezer until I was ready to make jam.  The best way to do this is to lay them out in a single layer on a sheet pan and put them in the freezer for a few hours until they are completely frozen.  Then put them into a resealable freezer bag.

I was fortunate enough to find organic ones in pristine condition, so I loaded up!   That is the only mandatory condition when making jam:  the fruit you use absolutely MUST be perfect.  If it has any bruising, remove it.  If there is even the tiniest bit of mold, toss it.  

The last thing you want to do is introduce that into an entire batch of jam because it will ruin everything (there goes all of your time, effort and money).

That being said, let's get started... 

Black & Blue Jam
  • 3 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 or 3 lemons)
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup powdered, no sugar/low sugar pectin
  • seven 8-oz freezer jam jars

Berries & Lemon Juice

  1. Thoroughly wash, rinse & dry jars & lids.
  2. Crush fruit slightly, or more if you like smoother jam.
  3. Add fruit & lemon juice to a medium pot and bring to a boil over med-high heat.
  4. Whisk together sugar and pectin and add to fruit,  stirring until dissolved.  Return to rolling boil and boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.
  5. Transfer to jars,  leaving a 1/2" space on top.  Seal and let sit at room temp for 2 - 3 hours, until jam is set.
  6. To store, freeze for up to 6 months or refrigerate and use within 3 weeks.

black & blue jam

sealed and ready for the freezer

*recipe courtesy of  Everyday Food

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