Breaking my blueberry duck

I really wasn’t planning a second jam session in two days today, but our bike ride ended near a pick-your-own blueberry field, and I’ve never seen quite so many blueberries in one place at one time.

So after a brief debate about overstuffed refrigerators and the fact that we really and truly didn’t need more fruit, we drove back after the ride, and suddenly there was a half-bucket of blueberries waiting to be turned into something. Jam?

Full disclosure first. I have never been that fond of blueberry jam because it seems sweet rather than fruity, and I always thought  it needed pectin to set. But Google found me plenty of recipes for blueberry jam that didn’t use bought pectin, including a couple that used honey rather than sugar. I never made blueberry jam before, and I never cooked jam with honey only either. What did I have to lose?

Blueberry jam (doubling the recipe from Against All Grain)
6 cups blueberries
1-1/2 cups honey
juice of 1-1/2 lemons; zest of one lemon

Mash the blueberries down a little with a potato masher, add the honey and lemon juice and zest and boil until it thickens and starts to set. Stir carefully — it seems to me that honey burns more easily than sugar does. Bottle in sterilized jars. Water bath, perhaps.

The recipe said to boil for 15- 20 minutes plus, but my jam was ready in less than 15, giving me just time to fish the jars out of their boiling water and line them up for filling. I ended up with 3-1/2 jars of deep, deep purple jam, and I scraped the pan out very carefully indeed to sample the finished product.

It might just be good enough to make me change my mind about blueberry jam.

Of course everything I was wearing is now also spattered with purple.

Memo to self: when cooking with blueberries, wear something that’s as almost-black as the blueberry jam itself.

There’s still a third of a bucket left. Anyone got a good blueberry muffin recipe? Or anything else with blueberries?

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5 Comments »

  1. Danielle said

    Boil it down with a little juice and pour it over pancakes!

  2. If you want them in muffins, just add them to your standard banana-bread recipe and bake in muffin tins.
    Also, I tend do as little mashing as possible so that I have chunks of fruit — but I am sure you did that!

  3. I found an oatmeal blueberry muffin recipe and used that. And a friend gave me a recipe for a yummy sounding blueberry sour cream cake which might be the next item on the agenda.

    Only a quarter of a bucket to go now.

  4. I vote for a fresh blueberry pie. This is my go-to version that is super easy and yummy berry-ish

    Pre-bake a crust and cool
    – take 2 c of berries and cook with zest juice from 1/2 lemon, a tablespoon or two of sugar (depending on how sweet your berries are or honey is ok too) and simmer on stove until “jammy”
    – line bottom of cooled pre-baked shell with 1 to 1 1/2 c of fresh berries (enough to make one solid layer of berries
    – pour “jammy” berries over fresh and let cool

    Serve with ice cream or whipped cream

  5. I would have done the pie, or a sort of blueberry dumpling thingy that a colleague suggested. But I blinked, and the spouse ate almost all the leftovers in one mammoth blueberry eating session. Maybe I can persuade him to pick some more next weekend.

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