Blueberry Balsamic Jam and the Joys of Small Batch Canning

Blueberry Balsamic Jam and the Joys of Small Batch Canning

La Fontaine IllustrationThere’s a French fable by La Fontaine that French kids are taught in school called La Cigale et la Fourmi (the Cricket and the Ant) which could become the motto of any canning enthusiast. It tells the story of the fun-loving cricket who sang all summer long while the ant diligently built up his food reserves for the winter. When the starving cricket comes begging for food, the ant glibly tells him to dance for his supper. I felt like the wise little ant all winter every time I reached into my pantry for another bright jar of summer jam.

Canning is a food project I had been meaning to try for years, but only got around to last summer, when many of my suburban Ohio minivan drives took me past gorgeous pick your own fruit fields. I remember my mother’s apple jelly making as lengthy, although delicious smelling, afternoons, and the effort always seemed too daunting. I preferred to just enjoy the summer bounty right then and there without troubling myself with too much slogging at the stove. But childhood memories are often distorted, and as soon as I bought my first set of jars last summer and started making jam, I was hooked. Making jams and jellies doesn’t take long and the taste of sweet jams that you made yourself when the yard is covered with snow is enough to make you dance with joy. Every bite is like a little taste of summer sunshine.

I also always assumed that you need huge quantities of fruit to make jam, but to make a batch of eight jars of blueberry jam, you need three pints. Five peaches will yield eight half-pint jars. I’ve been stalking my local supermarket and my farmer’s market for good deals on in season fruit, and making small batches to fill my pantry like an industrious little ant. Then I head back out into the sunshine, with plenty of time to sing and dance along with the frolicking crickets.
Blueberries Tumbling

Recipe: Quick and Easy Blueberry Jam

Ingredients

  • 3 pints of blueberries (yields 4 cups of crushed berries)
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1 box of Sure Jell Pectin

Instructions

  1. Wash your jam jars in warm, soapy water and rinse well. Set on a clean dishtowel.
  2. Set a large pot of water to boil.
  3. Rinse and crush the blueberries. Don’t do this in a blender or food processor as you will get too much of a puree. Instead, you could use a potato masher, or, for the ultimate therapy, just crush them with your fingers. Sensual and relaxing at the same time.
  4. Pour the crushed berries in a separate stock pot. Stir the box of pectin into the fruit and mix well. Bring the mixture to a full, rolling boil (this is the type of boil that doesn’t stop when you stir the pot).
  5. As soon as the fruit is boiling, add all the sugar in one fell swoop. Mix well and bring back to a roiling boil, boil for exactly one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and spoon off any foam (it’s yummy to eat).
  6. Ladle the jam into prepared jars quickly, making sure to wipe off the rims of any spilled jams. Cover with lids and with bands, closing them tightly.
  7. Lower the closed jars in the boiling water. There should be at least an inch of water above each jar. Boil each jar for ten minutes.
  8. Remove each jar from boiling water and set out overnight. As jars cool, they should pop, ensuring that each is properly sealed.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

My rating 5 stars:  ????? 1 review(s)

Microformatting by hRecipe.

Blueberry Jam with Blueberries

Recipe: Blueberry Balsamic Jam with a Hint of Vanilla

Summary: The Balsamic vinegar gives an exciting variation to the simple sweetness of the blueberries.

Ingredients

  • 3 pints of blueberries (4 cups of crushed berries)
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1 package of Sure Jell Pectin
  • 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Wash your jam jars in warm, soapy water and rinse well. Set on a clean dishtowel.
  2. Set a large pot of water to boil.
  3. Rinse and crush the blueberries. Don’t do this in a blender or food processor as you will get too much of a puree. Instead, you could use a potato masher, or, for the ultimate therapy, just crush them with your fingers. Sensual and relaxing at the same time.
  4. Pour the crushed berries in a separate stock pot. Add the balsamic vinegar and vanilla extract. Stir the box of pectin into the fruit and mix well. Bring the mixture to a full, rolling boil (this is the type of boil that doesn’t stop when you stir the pot).
  5. As soon as the fruit is boiling, add all the sugar in one fell swoop. Mix well and bring back to a roiling boil, boil for exactly one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and spoon off any foam (it’s yummy to eat).
  6. Ladle the jam into prepared jars quickly, making sure to wipe off the rims of any spilled jams. Cover with lids and with bands, closing them tightly.
  7. Lower the closed jars in the boiling water. There should be at least an inch of water above each jar. Boil each jar for ten minutes.
  8. Remove each jar from boiling water and set out overnight. As jars cool, they should pop, ensuring that each is properly sealed.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

My rating 5 stars:  ????? 1 review(s)

Microformatting by hRecipe.

 

 

Blueberry Balsamic Jam with a Hint of Vanilla

 

 

7 Responses to Blueberry Balsamic Jam and the Joys of Small Batch Canning

  1. [...] those things that seems completely daunting but is actually really easy. Yesterday, I shared some quick and easy blueberry jam recipes. Later next week, I’ll also share some really fun ways to can the peaches that are so in [...]

  2. Elise Walsh says:

    Such a simple recipe! Love it, great use of a blender :)

  3. Elise Walsh says:

    I’m going to believe that this is a possible recipe. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

  4. Patrick Conner says:

    This balsamic blueberry jam is now a family favorite. As soon as we open the last jar, I have to make a new batch so we don’t run out. My kids love to make PB&J sandwiches with it, as well as mix it into plain Greek yogurt. I frequently use frozen berry, and the batch turns out just fine. And on grainy bread with butter – perfection. Many thanks!

    • chefdruck says:

      So glad to hear it! Using it in PB&J sounds truly inspired. I’m going to have to try it myself. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Elvira Carpino says:

    I attempted to create an account but found that It was through Facebook. I do not belong to social networks (Pinterest accidentally & do not know how to use it nor do I want to) but I felt discriminated against because I could not download the great jam recipes you have, never mind the desserts I have come across. Can you help me belong to your site/blog without belonging to a social network & still be able to download recipes in recipe format? Thank you, Elvira

    • chefdruck says:

      Elvira,
      I use a program created by Ziplist to publish, print, and download my recipes on the site. Ziplist is a grocery list app that lets you see your shopping list on your computer, phone, etc. The save button on the recipe adds the recipe, along with all ingredients, to your zip list basket. That’s really the only way currently to download my recipes. That said, I would be happy to email you any recipes that you’d like to save on your computer. Feel free to email me at CHEFDRUCK at gmail.com. Thanks so much!

      Vanessa

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