This blueberry meyer lemon jam is my favorite jam. The first time I made it was back in December of 2014 when the associate director at my work brought in bags and bags of meyer lemons from his huge tree. I was trying to use up the lemons so I made a few batches of blueberry meyer lemon and strawberry meyer lemon jam. I gave most of the jam away as Christmas gifts but kept a few jars for myself.
I started using the jam to sweeten my kefir smoothies and fell in love with the citrusy floral flavor. I used it up really quickly. Most of the time I make jam and it takes months to finish a jar. When I started jamming, I was making several dozen jars each week as I tested different fruit and methods.
I started off making jam using the guide found on the box of pectin, moved to recipes from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, and then finally on to artisan-style jams made without added pectin. Jams made without added pectin relied on cooking the fruit with sugar until the sugar reached a certain temperature to gel the jam. The texture is amazing.
Over the years I've come to prefer a different method for each fruit. Some fruit were finicky when it comes to jamming. I never had much luck with making low sugar strawberry jam using pectin. The strawberry chunks always floated in the syrup. I've tried slicing, crushing, blending, and leaving them whole. My frustration grew with each batch. I then tried making strawberry jam using the no added pectin method. The longer cook time and higher sugar content resulted in no floating pieces. Except I did not like the flavor over-cooked strawberries. I then tried making freezer strawberry jam. It's the only way I make strawberry jam now.
While strawberries are difficult to work with, blueberries are easy. They work well using the regular or low sugar pectin method. The flavor withstands the longer cooking time for no pectin added jam. I've made blueberry jam using both fresh and frozen. Fresh when they are abundant in the summer and frozen in the middle of winter. Blueberries work well pureed with an immersion blender, sliced in the food processor, or left whole like I usually do.
I found a few containers of old pectin in my stash. I read that pectin doesn't expire so I decided to make low sugar jam instead of cooking the sugar to temperature for this batch.
Use a non reactive pot for the jam. I like making jam in my enamaled french ovens. I'm using my trusty 5.5 quart that I bought when Williams Sonoma had the Cherry color on sale for $119. Sometimes I use the smaller or larger sizes but the 5.5 quart round is my most versatile and lives inside while the others are stored in the garage.
Blueberry Meyer Lemon Jam:
10 cups blueberries
4 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons low sugar pectin
1 teaspoon citric acid
2 meyer lemons
1/4 cup Grand Marnier (optional)
1. Mix pectin with 1/2 cup sugar and citric. I used Zulka brand sugar this time and didn't have any problems. It's cane sugar. Awhile back I read to only use C&H brand cane sugar. Some people have issues with their jams not setting when they use a store brand. Growing up in California, most sugar on the the market is cane and not beet sugar.
2. Remove seeds and then grate the meyer lemons. I used the entire lemon including rind and pith.
3. Add lemons to the blueberry, pectin, and sugar mixture.
4. Bring the blueberries to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. I usually like to smash some of the blueberries while keeping most of them whole.
5. Add 4 cups sugar and Grand Marnier. Return to rolling boil and cook one minute.
6. Test for gel by either using a cold spoon or plate that has been placed in freezer. After making a few batches of jam you will be able to tell if your jam will gel by looking at the consistency of the jam.
7. Ladle into sterilized jars. A canning funnel makes it easier (less messy). I must like canning funnels because I found three in my drawer. I couldn't find the bubble remover or magnetic lid tool though.
8. Process ten minutes in water bath canner.
I bought a different inset for my canner. The one that came with the canner had grooves for quart jars. I prefer 8 ounce jars. Pints are a little too big for jam and 4 ounces holds about two servings worth of jam. I love the way Weck jars look but the sizes are a little strange to me and those clips are not very practical. After I open a jar of jam, I replace the two-piece lid/ring with a plastic twist-off cap.
I turn off the heat, lift the entire rack out of the water, and let the jars cool. When I am making more than one batch, a jar lifter is very handy to get the hot jars out of the pot. I usually lift them out of the pot and onto a heavy duty sheet pan to transport them to their cooling spot. Since I was only making one batch, I simply let the jars cool on the rack. I don't believe I even took the lid off or lift them out of the water after I turned off the heat. I left them in the pot for a little while. It must be habit. In Denver, I always processed my jars for 20-30 minutes instead of 10 minutes.
I don't believe I took a picture of the jams after I labeled the jars. I took a screenshot of the PDFs. (At the beginning of this post.) It's basically the same labels I've used for years. I changed the text from "from malisa's kitchen" to "happy valentine's day" since I was giving them to my team for Valentine's day. The rectangular label goes around the jar and the round label goes on lid.
I also made chocolate drizzled pretzel rods. I didn't dip the pretzels. I just put them on a silicone sheet and drizzled melted chocolate on them. The Ghirardelli melting wafers are delicious. I used the leftover chocolate to make pudding and I the pudding was better with Ghirardelli than Scharffen Berger.