Ten months have passed since Anna even tasted jam. Making it for her has been a challenge on two fronts: jam needs pectin to set up properly which is primarily derived from apple, and cane sugar is the typical sweetener used in home canning. Both apple and cane sugar are items on her “severe list” of foods to avoid. As I pondered this dilemma, I recalled smoothies made with fresh blueberries, which if allowed to sit overnight become thick and gelatinous–my clue to their high level of pectin. After searching on the internet for recipes, I found this one. The first batch I made exactly according to the directions, and it was extremely thick with a prominent taste of honey. I tried several variations including blackberries with blueberries, used pear/pineapple sweetener in place of honey, and finally achieved success!
- 3 cups blueberries (fresh work best)
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
- Place blueberries in a medium size sauce pan and crush them with a potato masher.
- Add honey, lemon zest, lemon juice and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Stir frequently while mixture boils for 15-20 minutes and begins to thicken.
- Test for “doneness” by putting spoonful of jam in freezer for 5 minutes. If it doesn’t pour off the spoon easily it is ready.
- Skim off any foam before putting in jar.
- Store in refrigerator or use canning methods. This makes enough for one 8 ounce jar.