Blueberries with fennel

It’s a little alarming when you have an idea for a jam and Google offers no recipe suggestions at all. Does it mean nobody has ever thought of this one? Or does it mean that somebody did think of it, and it was so evil that they refuse to write about it?

But ever since my surprise success with a plum fennel jam I’ve wanted to use more of those pretty fennel flowers in jam. We had more blueberries after another stint at the pick-your-own farm, so I decided to try a small batch, just to see. Apart from anything else, it gave me a chance to see if my little cubes of home-made crabapple pectin would encourage things to set. It’s a sour pectin, so it might take some of the sweetness off the blueberry jam as well.

Blueberry fennel jam
4 cups blueberries
3 cups sugar
juice of 2 lemons
3 tbsp of crabapple pectin (I think the jam would have set just fine without it)
a handful of fennel flowers, chopped almost to powder

Mix all the ingredients except the fennel together and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Boil like crazy until it sets. Add the fennel. Bottle in sterilized jars.

It made three jars, and a little bit of leftovers to give me an early taste.

I’m keeping this one in the fridge because I actually forgot to add the fennel, so threw it into my rapidly-cooling jam just before I bottled it. I don’t know if this will encourage something nasty to grow, but I didn’t have time to waterbath, and I don’t want to take the risk.

Early rating: 3-1/2 (out of 5)
It’s a nice set and a deep purple color, but I can barely taste the aniseed of the fennel.

And after the glories of jams from apricots, raspberries and strawberries earlier in the year, I think blueberries, like cherries, are best eaten fresh.

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