I love berries of all kinds, and am lucky to live where lots of them grow. Recently I bought some freshly picked blueberries at a farm stand: they were delicious! Some went into muffins, some on cereal, some were just eaten as a snack. The rest, about a dry quart, I turned into a little batch of blueberry-ginger jam. You may double the recipe, if you wish a larger batch: the jars make perfect gifts.
Mash the blueberries and mix with sugar and some grated ginger. This jam goes quickly: preparing the jars, cooking the jam, and sealing the filled jars takes less than an hour start to finish.
I like to make blueberry-ginger jam in small jars; they are especially good to give as gifts. A 4-oz jar is just the right size to use this jam on a cheese board.
Small-batch Blueberry Ginger Jam
- 1 quart fresh blueberries (about 650 g)
- 1 c granulated sugar (200 g)
- 1½ Tbsp lemon juice (22-23 ml)
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- ¼ tsp unsalted butter
- Since you’re making only 5 tiny jars of jam, you can use a smaller pot for the boiling waterbath – use any pot that will hold the jars and enough water to cover them by 1-2 inches. Put empty clean jars in a pot, add water to at least an inch over the tops of the jars, and bring the water to a boil. Remove jars, and let them drain upside down on a folded towel. Don’t drain the water from the pot; you’ll use it shortly.If you'll be using a steam canner, set it up, bring the water up to a boil, then keep it hot, but not boiling, whil you make the jam.
- Meanwhile, prepare jars and any other equipment. Make sure your jars are sparkling clean. Wash the lids in warm water and set aside. Keep the bands handy. Have an extra small jar, or custard cup, clean and ready for any excess jam.
- Rinse the blueberries well and discard any that are green or moldy. Put them in a heavy-bottomed skillet, and mash them to bits. Add the sugar and lemon juice, stir well to combine. When the mixture looks a bit syrupy, put the skillet over medium-high heat, and add the grated ginger and a teeny-tiny pat of butter. (The butter is optional, but it does reduce foaming) Bring the blueberry mixture to a boil, stirring often.
- When the berries are completely cooked, briefly remove the pot from the heat. Whiz the preserves with an immersion blender to make a smooth puree.
- Return the skillet to the heat, and continue cooking, stirring often, until it bubbles and looks quite thick. It’s done when you can pull a spatula through the jam and a streak remains: it doesn’t immediately fill in again.
- When the jam is ready, remove the pot from the heat. Ladle jam into prepared jars, wipe rims, and apply lids and bands. Anything that won’t fit in your four jars can go into the clean custard cup and chill it in the fridge.
- Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or steam canner. Cool jars, label, and store in a dark cool place.