Monday, August 22, 2016

BLUEBERRY JAM WITHOUT PECTIN

With my NEW GIFTS, it's time to start some canning!  

I kind of wanted to do something simple that allowed the full flavor of the fruit to come out in the end product. After much research online, I began seeing a theme.  And it was all summed up perfectly at this site.  I found this great three ingredient recipe over at The Yummy Life (thank you Monica for doing all the hard work first so the rest of us will have this great method!).

Three Ingredient No Pectin Blueberry Jam
There are only three ingredients.  I chose blueberries as they are everywhere in stores and farmers markets right now.  Plus sugar and Lemon.  That's it.

Ball jars
And I bought my jars, choosing half pint jars for this project...

Sterilizing jars in dishwasher
I used our dishwasher's sterilize setting for the jars and just kept them in the hot, steaming dishwasher until I needed them.  

Hmm, something about this picture makes me feel like I was being watched...LOL!


I didn't realize that new canning guidelines were put out a couple of years ago and the lids no longer need to be kept in boiling water.  The boiling water can affect the sealant.  So I washed the rings and lids and got them out and ready...


This is six cups of blueberries, three cups of sugar and the zest and juice of a large lemon.  For a small batch like this, I could have used half the lemon but I wanted the lemon flavor to be noticeable with the blueberries.  


You just start heating until it boils...it will foam up at that point but you just have to get past this stage (some people will skim it off, and you can, but it will disappear as it thickens, just have patience).  

Once you get past that point, you keep cooking as it reduces and thickens.  The use of pectin would make this happen quickly...


...but I wanted to be in the moment and see the process through...turn the temp down and keep simmering.  It will happen. At this point (I missed getting a photo) I took a potato masher and smashed the blueberries so we could have a chunky type jam).  This is all personal preference, we like thick and chunky.


While the berries were reducing, I put the jars over on the counter and got everything ready (the water was already boiling on the water bath canner).

Blueberry Jam with no pectin
Finally, it was ready.  I checked the texture using the chilled plate method. I put a plate in the freezer, put a tsp of jam on it, placed it back in the freezer for a minute or two and checked to see if it ran when I tilted it.  You can also do this with a spoon.  If it didn't run or ran very slowly, it was ready. 


My batch of jam was ready!  I got my canning funnel out and started filling the jars. I was a bit messy the first few times but I got better.  I removed the air bubbles, cleaned the rims with a damp cloth...


...topped them off to make sure I got the headspace at 1/4" and put the lids and rings on the jars...

Waterbath canning
...and then put them in the boiling water.  Once the water was back at the boiling point, I set the timer for 15 minutes.

Blueberry Jam
After the timer chimed, I turned the heat off and let them sit in the water for about five minutes and then took them out.  Voila!  

Four, half pint jars!

It was so much fun, I went out, bought six more cups of blueberries...

Blueberry Jam
...and made four more jars!  

So now we have eight jars of blueberry goodness in the pantry.  Well, one is in the refrigerator now...

Homemade Blueberry Jam on English Muffins
It was SO delicious this morning as we got ready for work!  This method really brings out the true flavor of the fruit.  It was amazing.

I'm already planning the next batch...I'm thinking peaches...

Is there such a thing as the canning bug?  
'Cause I think I've been bitten by it!

DISCLAIMER:

PLEASE NOTE:  You are responsible to know and understand the current canning and processing recommendations for safety.  Canning is fun but you MUST follow guidelines to make sure you are doing it safely. I had to learn (and still am) so do your research on safe canning techniques.

 A great link to official information is http://nchfp.uga.edu/ and 
of course, the literal bible of home canning information, the Ball website.


30 comments:

  1. Yes, there is such a thing, and more people are getting it all the time. As we care more about our food and want to taste the goodness of fresh, instead of tired, overprocessed, chemical food that's available to buy. Happy canning. You're on the road to a whole new adventure.
    Yesterday we canned 23 quarts of tomato juice, today it'll be pickled mixed hot peppers, pickled okra, tomato salsa and baked lemon zucchini bread. This is harvest time, and we have so much goodness to preserve for the rest of the year.

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    1. What a great way of thinking about it. I'm just in the beginning but it's fun and definitely addicting. 23 quarts? Salsa? Pickled okra? I envy you!!

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  2. I took a jam canning class this spring - demo only. The woman had a great suggestion. If you are just canning small jars, use your spaghetti pot with the strainer insert. Of course I don't have one but this could help justify buying one as a multi-use piece of equipment. You don't want your jars to sit on the bottom of the pot because the direct heat could cause the jars to break and that would be such a waste ��

    Also, if you want to see a cute video on how to can tomatoes, go see the Bitten Word blog and search on tomatoes. It's a hoot. They are from Washington D.C.

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    1. That's a brilliant suggestion, thank you for that!! I like that idea for small batches. Will check out that video, thanks.

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  3. Nothing but great enjoyment of tasting your very own jam. That looks soooooo good and don't you just love them easy peasy recipes :}
    Great job

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    1. Thanks, it was so exciting when it was done and when we ate some for the first time. Thank you!!!

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  4. Tried making jam 3 times. Each time a failure. You have encouraged me to try again. Guess I need more instruction than the cookbook offers. So, like you, I will turn to additional sources of information.... and try again. Thank you! Geo

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    1. Anonymous,
      You probably made pancake syrup or ice cream topping. There are no failures in jam or jelly making.

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    2. That's right, definitely no jam/ jelly failures. When it doesn't set to the right consistency, it become syrup or drizzle, haha. I have ended up with a few batches of strawberry drizzle myself. And let me tell you, people LOVED it possibly more than the jam.

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    3. Geo, I think Parsimony and Tonya are exactly right, just take those lemons and make lemonade, or in this case, take that jam and make syrup! Drizzle it over waffles or pancakes, no one is the wise. In fact, if it doesn't come out, I say put it in a bottle instead of a jar and boom, homemade syrup for pancakes or ice cream!!

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  5. Sounds wonderful! Can you try muscadine jelly? I used to make that without pectin and the taste was pure muscadine in every bite. I have never been able to buy any that approached it.

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    1. Funny you mentioned that, while we don't have them in the ground yet, and don't have enough to do anything with, we had a few grow while in the container. I'll have a post about them because I need some advice on growing them ha.

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  6. It's fun to can, well except for the mess, and it's great to know what is actually in your food. Plus jam/jelly you make yourself doesn't have any high fructose corn syrup. If you check the jars, most jams and jellies we buy have a lot of it.

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    1. Oh yes, you are so right I see that in them all the time. And it's so bad for us. I like the way you think!! Oh and I had a routine and a method and it wasn't that bad. For now, ha.

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  7. If you make sure to include not ripe fruit in any jelly or jam session, the pectin in the green fruit will help to set the jelly or jam. Most people don't know there is really very little need to buy pectin. Being able to pick my own grapes from the backyard, I was always able to control including green grapes. I am starving and those biscuits with jelly look soooo delicious.

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    1. I heard that (or read it somewhere) but wasn't sure. Now it makes sense. Thanks for this info. I hope to plant grapes and that will be nice too! I will make sure when I buy fruit to get a few under ripe ones. Thanks!!!

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  8. oh yes, the canning bug is a real thing i have it bad now but i don't have time until after the wedding. i make my blueberry jam the same way except use lime. i ever use pectin in any jams.

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    1. Lime? I love that idea. Thanks! And yep I wasn't sure about the whole pectin/no pectin thing but apparently it only requires patience. Thanks and happy wedding for your family! I can't WAIT to see that candy buffet!!

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  9. That looks sooo good! There's nothing like homemade jam! 2nd Man made a great gift choice.

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    1. Thank you so much. Yes, he did very well! :-)

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  10. Haha! You have the canning bug! I am happy for you though. It is such a feeling of accomplishment when you complete a batch. But I must say nothing drives that feeling home more, than when it the middle of winter you crack open a flavorful jar of sauce, crisp pickles or a sweet delicious jam.

    You can often find mason jars super cheap at yard sales and thrift stores. Just be certain to inspect them really well for chips, imperfections, or star/ stress cracks. You need a really strong light for the latter. Watch the store flyers for sales on canning jars too. Some of the best priced jars I have purchased were from Rural King, Tractor Supply and Big Lots. I am lucky because we have a USDA certified canner who has a shop the next town over and she has EVERYTHING canning related. Of course there is always Amazon.

    Some of my favorite canning blogs are Canning Granny, FoodinJars, and WellPreserved. I also follow other food preservation forums/ groups CanningAcrossAmerica, National Center for Home Food Preservation, and FreshPreserving (Jarden brands-Ball, Kerr & Golden Harvest jars).

    You will also find additional resources with Mother Earth News, GRIT magazine, Back Woods Home, Old Farmers Almanac...yeah the list could go on and on, haha

    I may a tad canning addicted myself :)

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    1. It is a sense of wonderful accomplishment. Any yep I bet in Winter we'll love it. Nowt I just need to expand. Great ideas for looking for jars. Thanks for the info. We have a cabinet at the farm that I might use for storing all the bulk supplies. Now I just need to catch the sales! Thanks for all the info.

      From one addict to another, LOL!!!

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    2. When canning season is about over; check at Tractor Supply as sometimes they will have a special sale on items.

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    3. Oh great suggestion. Thanks!!!

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  11. My daughter used to make blueberry jam. It was the best thing I ever tasted.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. It's wonderful, we can't wait until Winter when we can have fresh blueberry jam. Love to you always!

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  12. Almost enough to make me break out my canner again but after the 120 quarts of pickles I think I am done for the season!!! Looks amazing!

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    1. 120 quarts of pickles? OMG! That's a LOT of work.

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