Blueberry Epiphany

While I was attending classes at the Culinary Institute of America I took a trip to Red Hook, New York. There was a u-pick blueberry farm just off the main drag with the biggest blueberries I’ve ever laid eyes on. Blueberries were never high on my list favorites. Granted they taste terrific, but I could pass on them without blinking an eye.

Why I bought a quart is still a mystery to me, but I did.

Back at the apartment Scott, my classmate and roommate at the time, and I laid into them with a fervor that could get you arrested in most states. The next day I went back for more. Once more my life was changed by food.

Berries in upstate New York this year have been incredible. Large, full of flavor, and fat with color, they scream to be made into jam. The blueberries, while not as huge as the Red Hook gang, are especially tasty. Ergo, jam!

Making preserves is so easy it’s almost silly not to make your own. There is not a lot of equipment you need, the process is relatively quick, the ingredients are easily found, and the jars are reusable. But the best part is opening a jar of blueberry, raspberry, peach, strawberry, or whatever your fruit choice is in the middle of winter. Believe me, its like opening a jar of summer every time.

Blueberry Epiphany

Ingredients

  • - 6 cups blueberries, chopped to yield 4 1/2 cups
  • - 2 tablespoons lime, fresh squeezed
  • - 1/2 cup water
  • - 1 package pectin
  • - 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • - 1 tablespoon honey
  • - 2 teaspoons lime zest

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, pulse the 6 cups of blueberries until chopped but not totally liquefied. You will end up with 4 1/2 cups, if not add more blueberries.
  2. Add all ingredients and 1/2 of the sugar and the honey in an 8 quart or larger stainless steel pot. Bring to a roiling boil over high heat, stirring constantly with a long handle, stainless steel spoon. Add the remainder of the sugar and bring back to a roiling boil. Let it boil hard. like lava, for one to two minutes, stirring continuously, scraping the bottom of the pot, and checking the consistency to watch for jelling. When it starts to sheet off the spoon you're done.
  3. Ladle into 8-ounce jars, cover and process in a water bath for 15 minutes.
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