Hi friends! Last weekend I spent some time picking blueberries with my grandma and ended up with several quarts, so I decided I’d try to make jam for the first time by myself! I’ve made jam and jelly with my grandma countless times, but I wanted to finally try it on my own. I have to say my husband and I are pretty happy with how it turned out!
Just an fyi for those who don’t know – jam is made with the entire fruit, so it is thicker and has fruit chunks. Jelly is only made with fruit juice, so it is thinner and more jello-like.
6 cups of blueberries (if you picked them, make sure they are washed and all the stems are removed!)
3.5 cups of sugar (you could add 1/2 c more, but I prefer it less sweet)
2 tbsps lemon juice (this is NOT optional – it is a game changer in the final flavor)
1 package pectin
In a 2-quart or larger pot, crush all your blueberries over medium heat. Once your blueberries are at your preferred consistency, mix in the sugar and lemon juice and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. When the mixture reaches a rolling boil, add in your pectin and mix until it is dissolved. Bring back to a rolling boil.
Here’s where things get a little tricky. Recipes online will tell you all sorts of things, but I went with what I’ve done with my grandma. Let your mixture boil and every couple minutes spoon the jam out onto a small plate. Put the plate in the freezer for a couple minutes and see if it firms up, like jam. If it doesn’t, add it back to the pot and try again. Do this until the jam you put in the freezer is the consistency of jam. It will take anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes. Once you have a jam-like consistency, cut the heat and ladle your jam into mason jars. Wipe the mouths of the jars and put on the lids. Let the jam come to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.
If you want to preserve your jam, you must treat your jars ahead of time and boil them afterwards. This method does not do that. If you prepare your jam as described above, it must be refrigerated and used within 3 months. Your jars will be piping hot after you pour in the jam. Handle them carefully!
Y’all, I was very surprised by how quick this was. It took me about 40 minutes total and it made a little less than two quarts of jam! Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me (pun intended).