Sunday, October 13, 2013

Spiced Blueberry Apple Jam

I admit it.  I am susceptible to addiction. When I find am addicted to one thing, though, I have the ability to quit cold-turkey (like smoking).

However, I always have a need to replace that loss with a new habit (like quilting).  Right now, it seems, I have a real thing about canning.  I use much of my "planned boredom"  time researching recipes on the Internet.  I have asked my husband to pick up jelly jar lids at the grocery store for me on his way home from town.

Today, I found some frozen blueberries in the freezer buried under pork chops and peas, and could not resist the urge to turn them into something yummy to spite the call of the NFL and bathrooms that needed cleaning.

Okay, so maybe there was a bit of avoidance sprinkled in.  I only had 1 apple in the fridge and 2 cups of berries, but it was enough to get my weekend fix of stocking my pantry.

Spiced Blueberry Apple Jam
2 cups blueberries
1 very large Granny Smith Apple or 2 cups chopped
1 tsp lemon peel
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup apple cider
3 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice

First, put a plate in the freezer for testing the jam and prepare jars and lids.

Place all ingredients into a pot including the apple; peeled and chopped.  I add the peel in one long strip to the mix to help thicken the jam since I don't use pectin.  I cook this for 10 minutes until the apples are soft, remove the peel, then mash with my emulsion blender ( a potato masher would work as well).

Bring the jam to a boil and test on your cold plate (the one I had you put in the freezer) by placing a small spoonful of jam on the plate, returning it to the freezer for 30 seconds, then running a finger through the middle.  If your jam is ready, the jam will hold its shape and not run.  If it's not ready, cook a little longer and retest.

When it's ready, ladle hot jam into prepared jars leaving 1/4" of head space, cover with lid and ring, and water bath process for 10 minutes.  Remove to cool and listen for the satisfying "clunk."  Yield:  4 half pints

*allspice can be reduced or eliminated if you do not like the spicy flavor