While in PEI I discovered a wondrous thing (that most of you probably already knew): liquor can be added to a jam recipe. WEEE!!
After picking 15lbs (of which we got 10lbs) of blueberries, I was determined that we would make (successful!!) blueberry-champagne jam.
Unfortunately, champagne (and bubbly) was not available at the Farmer's Market. QUICK- change of plans (cuz I fly by the seat of my pants like that)- Tidalview Cider. After some deliberation as to the best flavour for blueberry jam, the deciding factor was the fact that we'd have to drink the rest... so Pear Cider it was.
As there weren't any blueberry- pear cider jam recipes we kinda had to wing it. That and I had no idea how to do the 'canning' part. We must have used THREE different recipes, for a mish mash. Wouldn't ya know- it worked out!
EcoYogini's Blueberry Pear Cider Jam:
6 cups of blueberries
5 cups of sugar (ack!- but we'd already bought normal pectin and not low sugar so...)
1 package of regular powdered pectin (Certo)
1/2 cup of local Pear Cider
4 large mason jars (or six smaller ones)
A canning pot & rack (you can get cheap versions at Canadian Tire)
Step 1: Take blueberries out of the freezer, place all six cups in the large saucepan and turn on low. If your blueberries AREN'T frozen... well luck you! Have faithful man-assistant periodically try to mash the blueberries.
Step 2: Place the mason jars in the canning pot, two inches of water above. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Bacteria can be nasty buggers, especially if you're preserving. Afterwards, leave the jars in the warm water until you're ready with the jam.
Step 3: Open the Pear Cider, pour a 1/2 cup in a measuring cup, cover so fruit flies don't kamikaze into the cider. Continue to pour you and your man-assistant each a hefty glass of cider. Enjoy.
Step 4: Into a bowl, add 1/2 cup of the allocated 5 cups of sugar to the pectin package- mix.
Step 5: When the blueberries are all mushed up by the potato mashing skills of your man-assistant, add the pectin-sugar mix and bring to a hard boil. Then add another 4 and a 1/2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup of pear cider. Stir continuously, bring back to a hard boil (that a stir can't break) for 1 minute.
Step 6: remove the jars (this was scary as we didn't have handy dandy jar lifters, so tongs were used. No jars broke thank goddess) and fill them with yummy jam leaving 1/4 inch from the rim, clean off excess jam. Place lids and put back in the canning water pot.
Step 7: Keep 2 inches above the jars and boil for at least 5 minutes- we boiled for 8 minutes.
Step 8: Remove the jars (seriously, fancy lifters would have been handy). Place where they won't get bumped and leave overnight. Done!! Jars should be kept sans lid-rings to better see spoilage if it happens and should be good for 6 months (put date on lids). If you don't preserve them, the jam needs to go immediately in the fridge.
More than just jam for your toast, this yummy creation makes a kick-butt filler for my mom's jam-filled cookie recipe. YUM!
EcoYogini's Blueberry-Pear Cider filled Cookies:
Preheat oven at 350F, use butter to grease pans (ew- Pam spray is gross and fake)
Cream together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of butter (melted or softened), 3/4 cups of sugar.
Mix in 1 and 3/4 cups of flour, 2 tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp vanilla, pinch of salt.
Roll dough in balls and place on cookie sheet. Afterwards, dip your thumb in flour and make little thumb prints. This recipe is a blast to do with children (or your hubby.... lol). Using a spoon, fill the thumb prints with your beautiful blueberry-pear cider jam.
Bake for 8-10 min. This is crucial- check the cookies at 8 min. They are ready when you see a tiny hint of brown along the bottoms.
article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com