One of my fondest memories from my grandmother’s dinner table is, silly as it may sound, her jelly bread. Plain old sandwich bread was an economical filler that she first relied on in the Depression years. But a smear of any one of her amazing jams elevated the simple bread to a whole new level and made it a permanent suppertime staple.
The best thing about blueberry jam–besides its sweet flavor and glorious aroma while cooking–is the utter ease of it. Unlike peaches or strawberries, there is no skin to peel, stem to remove, or pit to toss. Just rinse and go.
The addition of lime in this easy-to-follow recipe offers a gourmet flare, yet my kids still love this in a plain old PB&J. When fresh berries aren’t in season, frozen work well. So if you don’t squeeze in a batch or two this summer, consider it in early December when pondering thoughtful holiday gift ideas.
Yields 6 (8-ounce) jars or 3 pint-size jars.
- 4 1/2 cups blueberries
- 1 package dry pectin (Sure-Jell)
- 5 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- Wash the blueberries and drain well.
- Place the blueberries in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and crush the berries. (I use a potato masher; see notes)
- Add the pectin to crushed blueberries and stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved.
- Stir in the lime zest and juice.
- Stirring constantly, return the mixture to a rolling boil.
- Once the mixture reaches a full rolling boil, continue the hard boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove the pot from the heat.
- If there is any foam, you may skim it from the top or simply stir the mixture for a minute or so until the bubbles dissipate.
- Ladle the hot jam into clean jars (a funnel is helpful), leaving 1/4-inch headspace. With a clean cloth, wipe any drips from the rims of the jars, and adjust the two-piece caps.
- If you wish to store the jam at room temperature, process the jars for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner. Otherwise, store in the refrigerator where the jam will keep for quite a few weeks.
- For ease, I like to continue to crush the berries as they become warm, stirring as I mash. The blueberries become softer and much easier to crush as they cook.