Sunday, September 18, 2011

Easy Blueberry Jam

Aaron grew up on a blueberry farm and consequently, loves them. Me, not so much. But, strangely enough, I love picking them. Maybe it's something about growing up in a situation where berry picking of any kind is an adventure that you only get to do a couple times a year and it's so exciting that it's worth inviting friends along. At any rate, I'm more than happy to help him harvest them and make fun concoctions, but I don't really do much of the eating myself.

So this year, we went up to his dad's farm in mid-August to have our fun berry picking. Problem was, there were no berries to pick. They were all green. Green is not blue. We were definitely there for BLUEberries. So, we had a nice visit, but came home empty handed.

Happily, Aaron's dad drops by the city once in a while and a couple weeks later brought us a couple pounds of berries that he'd picked himself. So, while I didn't get to have my fun wandering about the fields running like a headless chicken from passing honeybees, we did get some blueberries. Since we had more than Aaron could eat on his own raw, we decided to make some blueberry jam from a recipe we'd spotted several weeks earlier.

Yes, it's Mark Bittman again. I didn't mean to find his blueberry jam recipe. I just stumbled across this one and liked it. I didn't even know it was him until after I'd already decided to put it on our "to make" list. Honest!

I'm told it turned out quite well. The primary downside to this recipe is that it doesn't actually preserve the berries - you still have to eat the jam within a week or so. We ended up giving some to a colleague of mine who regularly shares his veggies and jams with us. The plus side is it's quite quick and easy to make and it's much more spreadable on toast and sandwiches than raw blueberries.

Fast Blueberry Jam

Yield About 1 to 1 1/4 cups of jam
Time 20 to 30 minutes
Mark Bittman

  • 1 pound blueberries, picked over
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste.
  • 1. Put blueberries in a small-to-medium saucepan, to a depth of a couple of inches, over medium heat. After a minute of so, add cinnamon and sugar, and bring to a boil.
  • 2. Adjust heat so mixture bubbles steadily. If it looks too soupy, use a higher heat to reduce it; if there is not much liquid, use lower heat to avoid burning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is liquid but thick, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • 3. Cool and refrigerate mixture; it will thicken as it cools. Store, refrigerated, for up to a week. Remove cinnamon stick before serving.

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