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Blueberry Jam: What would you add to a standard recipe (low sugar, with lemon as a must-have) to make blueberry jam more interesting? ;o)

Facing a bumper crop of blueberries in my front yard, I'm already making a record number of jars of jam this summer. I've made 30 jars of jam and put up 16 pints of berries in a light syrup with brandy. From the amount I'm picking daily, it looks like I'll be putting up at least that much more, or possibly two times that amount. I'm looking for ideas for variations (spices, citrus peels, types of liquor, etc.) to use for hot packed whole berries in syrup, too. Thank you. ;o)

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asked over 7 years ago

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33 answers 10908 views
mrathmel
added over 7 years ago

Last summer I made some strawberry jam with chile pepper. I used smokey chilpolte type peppers. The jam was great. I'm planning to try it this year with some blueberries.

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katekirk
added over 7 years ago

Ginger, lemon, orange, cardamom. Since you have SO much to play with, why not try a smoked chile version? Not sure about liquor and its effect on jamming.

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Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser

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added over 7 years ago

Do you have lemon verbena, lemon balm, or Thai basil? Might infuse a syrup with one of them to use with the whole blueberries.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames

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added over 6 years ago

Well, one year later, I'm replying again. I was happy to see this question pop up above the fold on the Hotline! I'm looking forward to going the Thai basil route with a few quarts. We're in the home stretch with this year's bounty, but this is definitely on the must-try list. Thanks so much! ;o)

hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour

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added over 7 years ago

I was thinking lavender, but then I remembered your hideous flower allergy! I like nutmeg with fruit, did a nice jam with plums and nutmeg a couple years back that I really liked. I bet pink peppercorn and/or grains of paradise would be good too.

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Georgiee
added over 7 years ago

Ginger, fresh ginger. Best thing ever

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vvvanessa
added over 7 years ago

this is a little off topic, but if you are looking for something to do with all your jam, this is happening on friday:
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1877795537

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healthierkitchen
added over 7 years ago

Had a delicious blueberry jam with lime instead of lemon at the Fancy Good Show!

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames

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added over 6 years ago

Oh, I need to try this! I canned some berries in syrup with ginger last year that we weren't crazy about, so I added some lime juice and then some gin, which turned out to be an excellent idea. But blueberries plus lime, alone, sounds very nice. Not sure about the acidity level of limes, though. Will have to figure that out . . . . perhaps I'll use lemon + lime, cooking it with a couple large pieces of zest to get more lime flavor. Now I'm thinking about syrups for cocktails!! Thanks so much. ;o)

saradav
added over 7 years ago

CINNAMON goes beautifully together with Blueberries... and it adds a bit of sweetness, too!

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Fairmount_market
added over 7 years ago

My suggestion is to freeze some blueberries until peaches are in season and then make some blueberry peach jam, my favorite.

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AnnaMowry
added over 7 years ago

The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook has a recipe for blueberry-mint jan that I find intriguing. They recommend using peppermint or chocolate mint.

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seabirdskitchen
added over 7 years ago

I like to add a little finely heated fresh ginger to mine. On the order of 1 tsp to every 2lbs of blueberries. You definitely need the lemon juice too.

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nogaga
added over 7 years ago

Wow! Lucky and busy you! I once made a delicious blueberry jam with reduced port wine and candied orange peel, added at the end. You can also make a wonderful liqueur in the way that vishniak is made with sour cherries: Allow the cleaned berries to macerate in sugar for a day, even allow a slight fermentation to begin, then cover the jar with vodka and wait a month.

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Soozll
added over 7 years ago

I could imagine breaking up just a little bit of almond paste with the sugar (adjusted down) in a food processor and using that to get a hint of other flavor and a little texture into the blueberry jam. Would probably be great in cherry jam, too..

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aargersi
aargersi

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added over 7 years ago

My sisters and I made a blueberry coconut that is awesome - we used coconut water and a little coconut extract. We also made blueberry peach, and I made a blueberry fig ice cream sauce. I love blueberry vanilla jam too ... jealous of your crop!!!

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101coefficient
added over 7 years ago

Lavender and blueberries are an awesome combo. But what's this I hear about a flower allergy??

I buy organic culinary lavender from Hood River Lavender Farms. It's some of the best I've sampled, with a smooth, delicate aroma. http://lavenderfarms.net/hoodriverlavender/index.html

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames

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added over 7 years ago

Wow, these are all great ideas! Thank you, everyone. Fairmount_market, peaches are in season here now; I've put peaches and blueberries together in cobblers before. Jam sounds fantastic. I have a lot of blueberries with which to work, so I'll be doing quite a bit of experimenting, in 4-jar batches. And vvvanessa, the event you linked sounds right up my alley, so I'll probably go. What great fun! Thanks again. ;o)

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Meatballs&Milkshakes
added over 7 years ago

I love blueberries with vanilla, I would use vanilla bean rather than extract though. I'm also thinking you could do a blueberry version of the brandied cranberry sauce I make at thanksgiving...just add brandy towards the end of the cooking and use lemon instead of orange juice.

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SKK
SKK
added over 7 years ago

Basil leaves - forgot the word when you tie them up in cheesecloth and let them cook with the berries - the mixture was incredible. And here is a recipe I have been wanting to fiddle with which includes balsamic vinegar and rosemary http://knittingalife.com/2010/08/10/homemade-jam-part-two/

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susan g
added over 7 years ago

An unusual sauce: 1 pint simple syrup, 2 oz. gin, pour over frozen dry blueberries. I don't know if the berries have to be frozen, I don't know if it could be canned, but it's different! (from Elsie Masterton)
How many bushes do you have? You must be treating them well to have such a prolific crop.

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Diana B
Diana B

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added over 6 years ago

I second the vote for balsamic vinegar - I used some in a blueberry jam recently (as well as a pluot jam) and it gives the jam a more complex flavor -- really nice.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames

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added over 6 years ago

Rachel Saunders recommends this, too. I think I'll try it. I really like your suggestion to use it with pluot jam! ;o)

Bevi
added over 6 years ago

My favorite inclusions: plum, basil leaves, lemon verbena, cinnamon, reisling wine, nutmeg, mint. I am dealing with the same bumper crop issue - what a wonderful issue to have!

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames

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added over 6 years ago

Reisling! That's brilliant. We made an absolutely superb blueberry red wine vinegar with mint at our preserving potluck. You should try that! It only uses a quart of blueberries, but is sensational. ;o)

ChrisBird
added over 6 years ago

I use crystallized ginger as well as fresh. Hard to quantify the amount, but it is quite a lot. Add the crystallized with the sugar. And yes, I do make the crystallized ginger myself....

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ChrisBird
added over 6 years ago

I use crystallized ginger as well as fresh. Hard to quantify the amount, but it is quite a lot. Add the crystallized with the sugar. And yes, I do make the crystallized ginger myself....

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