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Course: Sauces & Condiments
Keyword: Breakfast, Brunch, Condiments, Make-Ahead, Preserves, Spiced Blueberry Jammin'

Spiced Blueberry Jammin'

ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 6 hours 35 minutes
Yield: 6 (8-ounce) jars
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 2 (12-ounce) bags frozen blueberries
  • 1 (1 3/4-ounce) packet dry pectin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Specialized Hardware

6 (8-ounce) Mason-style jars with lids and bands
Wide-mouth canning funnel
Canning tongs
12-quart pot
ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 6 hours 35 minutes
Yield: 6 (8-ounce) jars


  • Prepare the jars, lids, and utensils: Thoroughly wash the jars, rings, lids, tongs, a large ladle, and funnel with hot, soapy water. Rinse.
  • Pile everything except the lids in a 12-quart pot. Cover with hot water by at least 1 inch and bring to a boil. Maintain a boil for 10 full minutes to sterilize.
  • Kill the heat, wait 5 minutes, then add the lids. Leave everything in place until you're ready to can.
  • Make the jam: Put the blueberries in a 4-quart saucepan over low heat. Sprinkle with the pectin, followed by the anise, nutmeg, ginger, lemon juice, and vinegar.
  • Once liquid starts to gather in the bottom of the pan, get to mashing with a potato masher. Boost the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in the sugar and water. Return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil hard for 1 minute. The jam should reach 220ºF on a digital instant-read thermometer. Remove from heat and let cool 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Can the jam: Remove the tongs, ladle, and funnel from the pot. Use the tongs to remove and drain the jars, which then should be set upright on paper towels.
  • Place the funnel in the first jar and, using the sterilized ladle, fill just to the bottom of the funnel about 1/3 inch from the bottom of the jar threads. Repeat with the remaining jars.
  • Wipe the jar rims with a moist paper towel. Double check for cracks or any abnormalities that might prevent a seal. Carefully extract the lids from the hot water and place them on the jars. Extract the rings and apply finger tight. Return the jars to the pot, being certain that they don’t touch the bottom of the pot or each other. If necessary, add more hot water to cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a hard boil over high heat. Find your elevation on the chart below and boil for the appropriate length of time.
  • 0 to 1,000 feet above sea level: 5 minutes; 1,000 to 3,000 feet: 10 minutes; 3,000 to 6,000 feet: 15 minutes; 6,000 to 8,000 feet: 20 minutes; Above 8,000 feet: Wait to make jam until you’re back down to base camp.
  • Use the tongs to remove the jars from the water to a folded towel. Let the jars cool at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours. You may hear popping or hissing noises as the vacuum seals take hold. Check the lids before storing in a cool, dry place: The lid should not flex when touched. Canning lids have a sealing compound on them that helps to create a vacuum when the jam or preserves cool. The ring helps hold it in place but it doesn’t need to be tight. After the lids set I usually remove the ring. Don’t try to reprocess jars that don’t seal. Instead, stash these in the fridge and use the jam within a few weeks.
  • Label your preserves with recipe name, where the food came from, the date it was “put up,” and so on. Most experts suggest using preserves within 1 year. Discard the contents of the jar if the lid comes off, you see any mold, or if anything looks or smells funny. Bubbles, for instance, are bad. What would happen to you if you ate bad preserves? Acidic foods aren’t very prone to botulism, so maybe not much — but you should never play around with these things.
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