You’re probably really freakin’ tired of jam right now, aren’t you? I know. I hear ya. It’s hard though, cause there’s all this beautiful fruit out there- the berries, man! THE BERRIES! -and preserving them to eat over the winter is one of the best ways to use ’em. Even if this isn’t the most long-term jam in terms of stability, it’s still worth it.
So excuse me for overdosing on jam lately.
Plus, you know, I’ve said this before- when I get anxious or upset, I bake/preserve/cook/etc. And unfortunately, I’ve had a few occasions recently to feel that way about, so therefore jam. Jam- all day, every day. Deal with it!
Plus, this one is really cool because it’s sugar-free. It’s made with only honey, no sugar. Just blueberries, honey, lemon juice and mint leaves. That’s all, folks. And you can also use Agave nectar if you prefer!
Pretty cool, right? Only downside to this jam is, like I said, that it will NOT last a year like regular sugar jams. Even with the waterbath processing, it can mold quickly. So plan on eating it faster, and saving the high-sugar jams or full-sugar jams for long term shelf stability. Keep it in the fridge as a jam meant for immediate use, and keep an eye on it. I always say when in doubt, throw it out!
My dad really likes blueberries so whenever I see them for a good price, I get ’em. It just so happens that because they’re little tiny bombs of pectin and they don’t need anything else, blueberries are perfect for small-batch jams and preserves. So when they’re on sale for “buy one get one free” like they were recently, I pick ’em up and make some quick little jam. Or cake. Whatever.
SMALL BATCH BLUEBERRY AND MINT HONEY JAM (adapted from Food in Jars’ recipe at 100 Days of Real Food)
Makes roughly 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 pints; for me it made two 8-oz. jars and one 4-oz. jar
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh blueberries, washed, dried and de-stemmed
- 2/3 cup fresh pure honey OR Agave nectar
- juice from 1/2 lemon (around 1 and one half tablespoons)
- 4 or 5 large fresh mint leaves, torn
- Place the berries in a wide deep skillet or pan and gently mash. They will splatter so wear dark clothes or an apron! Add the lemon juice and honey. Let the mixture sit until the honey begins to dissolve.
- Place the pan on the stove and bring to a boil. Add mint leaves and stir them in. Cook, stirring regularly, for 10 to 12 minutes, until the jam thickens.
- Pour it into clean, hot jars. Apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath canner for ten minutes. When time is up, remove jars from the canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel and let them cool.
- When the jars are room temperature, check the seals. If the lids have gone concave and don’t wiggle at all, they are sealed.
- Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within a few weeks. If you don’t want to process the jam, just pour it into a jar, let it cool, and put it in the refrigerator.