Manage episode 339686274 series 2893248
My friend Nancy generously picked and gifted us 4 pounds of blueberries. Evelyn plans on entering jam at the fair again this year, last year she won a blue ribbon for her raspberry jam. I measured the blueberries out into two bags of 6 cups each and froze them until she and I were able to do some canning. I had looked at the recipe I was going to follow to know how many to put in each bag.
What I used for equipment was the Presto digital canner, a strainer, a dutch oven pot, a old fashioned handheld potato masher the kind with the square holes, a wooden spoon, a 4 cup measure cup, a half cup measure cup, canning funnel, pot holders, a lint free dish cloth, dish towel, jar lifter.
What I used for ingredients were blueberries, sugar, a box of powdered pectin and a pat of butter.
The morning we canned, I let the two bags of berries thaw out separately in strainers to get rid the little bit of water from being frozen. I made two batches of jam, making each one separately as research tells me that doubling a jam or jelly recipe can often lead to canning failure. I personally have never tried that so can’t say by experience.
I used the directions that came with the Sure Jel brand pectin, so besides the pectin and blueberries, I used 4 cups of sugar and a pat of butter. The butter is to reduce the foam that forms on top of the bubbling jam, and normally I just skim it off and save to eat. Foam is good to eat, it just takes up room in a jar that is best served by the actual product plus for entering contests it looks better without it. The butter did its job, I had no foam to skim off of either batch.
After rinsing the blueberries, making sure there were no stems attached, Evelyn used the potato masher to smash the berries in the dutch oven pot. As it’s a jam, she wasn’t concerned about making them too liquidy so she left a nice amount of blueberry clumps. Then she added the pat of butter, and sprinkled the pectin in, mixing them thoroughly with the wooden spoon as it all came to a rolling boil. At this point, she added the 4 cups of sugar and kept stirring and mixing, letting it come back to a rolling boil, which is a boil that can not be stirred down. She let that boil for one minute, and we also put a thermometer in it to watch till it came up to 220 degrees Fahrenheit which is the temperature at which it is supposed to set.
She already had the 8 ounce jelly jars warmed up in the canner, so I took each one out and because the jam was so very hot, I handled the jar filling using the half cup measure cup to fill the jars also using the canning funnel. I wiped each rim off with a lint free washcloth that I continually rinsed in hot water, put the lids on and finger tightened the rings. One jelly jar was a drinking jar with a plastic cover, so I filled that one and set aside for her to take home to put in their fridge. When putting jelly or jam into the fridge right off, it doesn’t have to be processed.
The jam processed for 10 minutes on the water bath cycle, then after the first batch was done I removed the canner cover and let the jars sit for 5 minutes just to let the jars simmer down a bit, then removed them using the jar lifter, and set them on a dish towel.
While Evelyn’s batch was processing, I had my batch cooking, so I was able to put the 2nd batch in fairly quickly after hers was done.
Each batch gave us six 8 ounce jars.