Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Slow Summer (Recipe: Small Batch Blueberry Lime Jam)

Ranch land near Brenham, TX
A few weeks ago I couldn't help but to admire the sky as we were driving home from Houston.  Cottonball clouds were perfectly hoisted in the air and as we passed by pastures and ranch land I briefly (and yet again) fell in love with green and blue.  The colors blurred with such contrast as we zoomed down the highway, yet they were so complimentary; no wonder why God chose these colors to represent our Earth.  They are magnificent.
A healing Earth, Bastrop, TX
The sun was setting as we passed through the battled and scarred land in Bastrop.  Burned from a forest fire two years this fall, the trees were charred sticks standing at attention.  I quickly reminded myself that the land would heal itself, that the scorched earth would once again be enriched and green again.  A proud green reaching for the blue sky.
Skies over Houston
There is something so great about summer drives.  The days seem slower and I feel a release.  There is no rush.  There are slow sunsets.  There are rivers and lakes.  Bridges to cross.  Canoes and kayaks.  Farmstands and markets.  Music.  We are in the midst of summer.  Lets keep it slow.

Now on to a slow summer recipe....
Blueberry Lime Jam

Blueberry Lime Jam (small batch)
yield:  approximately 2 cups (I processed 1-1/2 pint and 1-4oz jar and stored the remainder (scant 4oz.) in the frig)

Dusky sweet blueberries and bright, tart lime make a delicious, glistening, indigo summer jam.  I make jam the old fashion way, no pectin, just fruit, sugar and flavorings, heat and time.  I macerate the fruit for a few hours, mash the fruit up really well and gently boil it until it has thickened to my preferred jam consistency.  The flavors are pure and clean and this method of jam making is perfect for a slow summer day.

This recipe is for a small batch of jam but you can absolutely double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe.  I loosely use a jam formula of 2:2:2 (2 lbs fruit to 2 cups sugar to 2 Tablespoon lemon juice), in this case though, I used what I had in the frig. which was 20 oz.  You can always add flavorings, herbs, etc. and fiddle with the consistency to your preference.  I am a firm believer of the freezer/gel test and if you have any questions regarding canning go here or here.  Or you can read my little blurb about canning here.

20 oz. blueberries
1 1/4 cup sugar
Zest of two limes
Juice of one lime (a little over 1 tablespoon)
  1. Combine blueberries, sugar and lime juice and zest together and let it sit out at room temperature for 2 hours.  Alternatively, you may store the mixture in the refrigerator overnight. Stir occasionally
  2. Wash and sterilize jars. Boil the flat parts of the lids in a small pot and keep at a low simmer (I toss in the bands too).
  3. Mash the blueberries with a potato masher and place in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
  4. Place on a burner over medium high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Stir and boil for 1 min.
  5. Lower heat and gently boil for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally at first then more frequently toward the end.  Perform the gel test to see if jam is ready to be processed.
  6. Ladle jam into hot jars, then place the lids on jars, and add screw rings.
  7. Immerse jars in hot water bath, and boil rapidly for 10 minutes, covered. Turn off heat and let jars sit in pot for 5 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from bath and place on a towel on the counter to cool.

1 comment:

Mama Pea said...

This sounds soooooo good.