And just like that, the end of summer has arrived! Isn’t it wild how fast these past few months flew by?? Regardless how busy we’ve been, I’ve tried to take advantage of ALL the amazing summer produce that I could! I have 50 pounds of Roma Tomatoes sitting on my table as we speak! I know it’s a lot of work at once the whole “canning” thing but I am always happy during the winter months to have that summer deliciousness bottled up!
I always make 3 types of jam: Strawberry Rhubarb✔ Strawberry Vanilla Bean✔ and Blueberry🔲. I also make Apple Butter but that will be a little later this fall!! It’s so great to have these on hand, not only for yourself but they make such a great gift! Who doesn’t love a jar of homemade jam, my friends do🤭.
So, let’s talk about blueberries! There are two kinds: Wild (low bush) & Cultivated (high bush). Now in the cultivated category there are many different varieties but we’re just going to brake down the difference between these two. For making jam, baking and freezing, wild is the way to go! For snacking, cultivated are great! These are a few reasons why!
* Smaller, which means they have more skin than pulp which means they have less juice/water content than the bigger berries. This means that when you’re making jam, there will be less “water” to reduce to your jam will thicken faster which means less cooking time which means keeping more of that berry flavour! Make sense? This is also important in baking because you don’t want your berries to water down your dessert.
* They are also better for freezing. Again, for the “water” content when you thaw them.
* Flavour, since they are much smaller then the cultivated berries, their flavour is much more intense!!
* Again, because of their size, you get about twice the number of berries per cup. For example, if you’re making muffins or scones (lemon blueberry scones recipe coming soon😍), and you use wild blueberries, you will much more actual berries spread through out rather than if you would use bigger berries!
I know, I seem like I’m team wild all the way (well I kinda am lol) but I still love cultivated blueberries, just in a different way!!
* These berries are great for snacking like I said, I’ll often add these to salads.
* Flavour, well it depends. I mean I’ve have some delicious cultivated berries and sometimes some just don’t taste like much. It really depends I guess.
* Accessible, these are the fresh berries you will find in the grocery store all year long from all over the place. I mean, if you need fresh blueberries for a salad in the dead of winter, this will have to be your option… but if you ask me, save those fresh blueberry dishes for when they are in season!
Now, that’s pretty much all the blueberry info I know! Oh, one other thing, health wise, the Wild have twice the amount of Antioxidants than the cultivated!
This year hasn’t been a great for blueberries I’ve heard. Many of the blueberry bushes froze with our never-ending winter🙄. The wild blueberry season is also quite short, mostly August and beginning of September. This year, I managed to get about 10 pounds, just enough to make two batches of blueberry jam, a blueberry tart, lemon blueberry scones and mixed berry crumb bars (those 3 recipes are coming to the blog soon my friends, I promise). Can we just have more hours in day because seem to run out of time every single day🤦🏻♀️!! Ok, enough rambling on about blueberries, let’s make JAM!!
If you made my strawberry jams, basically it’s the same deal! Blueberry jam is a little trickier in a way when it comes to “testing” when it’s done! It seems much more “liquidy” when it’s boiling than the strawberry jam but when it’s cooled down, it thickens really nicely!! I think blueberries have more natural pectin than strawberries! So, to deal with this testing issue, I tweaked my “cold plate test” a little. See, if you do the cold plate test with blueberry jam, you are going to think it’s not done because when you run your finger through the jam, it will seep back together (usually anyways). I’ve been using a different “test” and it just puts my mind at ease and assures me it’s really jelled properly. This test does take a little longer (like 15-20 minutes) BUT, if you’re taking the time out of your busy schedule to make jam, you want it to be done right, RIGHT?
- 9 Cups Wild Blueberries
- 3 1/2 Cups Sugar
- 1/4 Cup lemon juice
- A large pot, at least 5 liters
- Measure 9 cups wild blueberries, add them to your pot. With a potato masher, or even a pastry blender , mash up the berries until about half are crushed.
- Add the sugar and the lemon juice to the pot and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, set you timer for 25 minutes. 25 minutes rather than 20 like the strawberry, just because I find it takes that extra 5 minutes to jell properly. Reduce the heat to medium and stir frequently to prevent sticking and burning in the bottom of the pot.
- Some of the liquid will evaporate as it cooks but like I said, this blueberry jam seems more thin than the strawberry jam.
- After 25 minutes, I want you to scoop 1/4 cup of jam into a small bowl. Remove the jam from the heat and place the bowl in the fridge for a good 15-20 minutes. After that time, you should really see that the jam has thickened. And it will continue thickening when it has really settled and cooled completely. Let’s say you jam is still really liquid… don’t panic, just boil it for another 5 minutes or so.
- Once you’ve tested the jam and it’s set, you are ready to store it as you prefer! If you decide to “can” it, proceed with that! If you want to store it in the fridge, transfer to jars and let it cool completely on the counter before refrigerating it. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 6-8 weeks.
- If you made my Strawberry Jams, you will notice I skipped over the “skimming the foam” part. That is simply because in my experience, I don’t need to skim any foam with blueberry jam! Why? I have no clue lol! If for some reason you do have any foam, simply skim the foam before adding to jars.
There you go, another jam for your pantry! You’ll get about 5 half pints! I’m working hard on getting all those other blueberry recipes ready for you🤩!!! Stay tuned!
Wild Blueberry Jam, another end of summer delicacy! Bottle up this deliciousness so you can enjoy it all year long!
- 9 Cups Fresh Wild Blueberries
- 3 1/2 Cups White Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
You will need a large pot, at least 5 liters.
- Measure 9 cups fresh wild blueberries. Add them to a large pot (at least 5 liters). With either a potato masher or a pastry blend, mash up the berries so about half of them are crushed.
- Add the sugar and the lemon juice, bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
- Once the jam comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and set the timer for 25 minutes. Stay close to the stove, you want to be stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
- After 25 minutes, remove the jam from the heat. Scoop out 1/4 cup and pour it into a small bowl. Place the bowl in the fridge for a good 15-20 minutes. (check out my post for further explanation on this test vs the “cold plate test”.
- Once you jam is properly jelled, skim off any foam on top (I have found that blueberry jam tends to not have much foam to skim).
- Transfer the jam to jars (it should make about 5 half pints) and proceed to your preferred method of preserving. If you are canning, go for it. If not, the jam will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 6-8 weeks.
*I have always made this jam with fresh wild blueberries. If you only have frozen wild blueberries on hand, I don’t think that will be a problem, it might just need a little more time to cook. I wouldn’t cook it more than 30 minutes.
**Refer to my post for further explanation on wild blueberries vs cultivated.
Keywords: Blueberries, Wild Blueberries, Jam