Yummy Blueberry and Lemon Zest Jam!
Eons ago, whenever my family and I would go up to Baguio City, we make it a point to buy strawberry and blueberry jam from the Baguio City Public Market or the Good Shepherd Sisters. Strawberry jams are cheaper then, probably because more locals are successful in growing them while the blueberry variety is twice the price. In fact, I checked several websites recently and did not find blueberry jam among the fruit preserves sold by the Good Shepherd Sisters.
Apart from other fruits jams such as rhubarb, mango, and santol, the sisters have ventured into selling other food products too such as baked goodies but strawberry and ube jams (purple yam) remain their best sellers. Incidentally, because of its demand, the quantity and time of purchase of ube jam is regulated.
This summer, we thought of splurging a bit on fruits and it was by chance that a friend of ours said that blueberries were already ripe for the picking for $1.00 a pound!
We ended up with 8 lbs of blueberries; some of these we had to leave, regrettably, with our friend. The rest of the fruits were eaten along the way, some found their way into my daughter’s recipe of blueberry muffins, some are still waiting to be topped on my wife’s cheesecake and the rest were cooked into jams! Fellow dad, Robert, thinks that we can start selling blueberry jams for business!
Anyway, the jam recipe below was based on two recipes my wife found while surfing the internet. We have tweaked them a bit to suit our kids’ palate. Enjoy!
Blueberry-Lemon Zest Jam
3 ½ cups of fresh blueberries
3 ½ cups of granulated white sugar
1 tbsp. lemon zest
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 pack of 57 gms. Certo Pectin Crystals
1. Spread out the blueberries in a cookie tray and remove any over ripe berries, stems, leaves, et cetera.
3. Using a potato masher, gently mash the blueberries but ensuring that the crushed berries retains a certain texture.
5. Pour the crushed berries in a pot then add the lemon juice, lemon zest, white sugar/pectin mixture, gradually stirring with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Cook the mixture in medium heat by continuously stirring it until bubbles form. Remove and discard the bubbles if this starts to foam.
6. To check the mixture if it has gelled properly, put one teaspoon of the mixture on a cold saucer. After 20 seconds, run your finger through the mixture. If the juice does not run back, then your jam is ready. This method can be found by clicking this website.
8. Cover the jars with the lid and tighten it a bit. Once this is done, place the jars in a water canner for 15 minutes. Since I did not have a water canner, I used an ordinary pot and immersed the jars and allowed it to boil for a good 15 minutes then let them sit for 5-8 minutes.