Yum! What’s better than homemade jam, both on the breakfast table and as a gift to friends? But don’t do all the work just to create a forgettable jam that you can just as easily find at the supermarket (I hereby decree a ban on grape and strawberry jams!). Here’s a spread that captures the bold sweetness of summer blueberries offset by the eye-opening tartness of fresh lemon zest.
It also has a wonderful texture because the pulp of the blueberry is not discarded.
In August I preserve a slew of pints for serving at The Manor, but also dozens of half-pint jelly jars for “taste of the Manor kitchen” gifts.
What’s even better? If you gobble up your entire summer’s harvest, you can still make this in the dead of winter with frozen blueberries! What are you waiting for?
9 cups fresh or frozen (unsweetened) blueberries
9 cups sugar
Sort, stem, wash and drain the blueberries. Using a zester, peel the lemon into thin strips. Be careful to peel only the yellow part, not the bitter, white pith. In a saucepan, cover the peel with water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Feel free to experiment with extra peel if you want to increase the tartness and/or texture of the marmalade.
Juice the lemons. Measure the juice and add water to obtain a total of 1-1/2 cups.
In a large preserving pan, crush the berries with a potato masher. Add the blanched peel,sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Continue to boil gently until the marmalade reaches 220 degrees F on a candy/jam thermometer. Ladle hot marmalade into sterilized jars, with 1/2 inch headspace, and process in a water bath according to standard methods.
Makes 6 pints or 12 half-pints.