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Classic Blueberry Jam


Chef Lyford uses the old-school method of making jam, which doesn’t require pectin. The berries are cooked slowly, gradually thickening, to reveal their rich, fruity essence.

Makes about 6 eight-ounce jars

1 kilo fresh blueberries (approx. 2.25 pounds)
650 grams organic cane sugar (approx. 1.4 pounds)
2 lemons, juiced

Thoroughly wash and de-stem berries. Mix berries, sugar and lemon juice in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and turn heat to medium high. Stir often to prevent the sugars from burning, and mash to release the juices. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Using a ladle, skim off the foam that accumulates. This will be a constant process during jamming. As you skim, the cloudiness will diminish. Continue skimming, stirring and reducing until the jam has reached its thick set point.

To test set point: When you think you’ve reached the desired thickness, fill a tablespoon with the jam and set it on a plate in the freezer for 2 minutes. This is the consistency your jam will be when it is cooled. If it passes the test, you’re finished. If it’s too thin, continue cooking to reduce a bit more.

To refrigerate: Using a canning funnel, pour mixture into clean jars. Cool and cover. Will last in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

To preserve: Using a funnel, pour mixture into prepared hot jars. Leave ¼–inch headspace. Use bubble tool or knife to release air pockets. Wipe the jar’s rim clean before sealing. Center lid and gently screw on ring until its just fingertip-tight. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. (See canning book for details.) Remove jars from bath and leave undisturbed for 24 hours. The jam is best if matured for a few weeks. Store in a cool, dark pantry for up to one year.

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Chef Robert Lyford is co-owner of Patina Green Home and Market in McKinney.

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