My godmother left us with a big bag of blueberries after she visited last weekend and so, of course, I decided to make blueberry jam. Unfortunately, by the time I finally got around to it it was late in the evening and when, midway through my recipe, I discovered that I was almost out of sugar it was far too late to run to the grocery store. So I decided to substitute honey for part of the sugar and just hope it turned out ok. How bad could it go?
As I was making it I had my doubts. While it was cooking I couldn’t taste anything other than honey. Smack you in your face sweet and floral. Not that honey is a bad flavor but if I want honey then I will eat honey, I want my blueberry jam to taste at least somewhat like blueberries! I was a little discouraged and had realized that in addition to the sugar I’d also run out of small canning jars (apparently I’ve been making too many syrups lately!) so I just poured it all into a bowl, put a lid on it and put it in the refrigerator.
The next day it was wonderful! I don’t know if it was the temperature change or if the flavors just needed some time to mingle and get to know each other but after a night in the fridge the blueberry flavor is much more apparent and the honey, while still definitely there, isn’t as overwhelming. You can also taste a hint of the lemon which gives it a refreshing zing. Served with some of our homemade cream cheese (which is so rich and flavorful that it shouldn’t even share a name with the stuff you get at the store) and fresh bread it is delicious. I’m not sure that I’ll ever go back to making blueberry jam without honey, even if I have plenty of sugar in the pantry next time!
Blueberry Honey Jam
- 4 cups of blueberries (this was the measurement before they were pureed)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cup honey
- 2 TBS lemon syrup (plain lemon juice would be fine, I just had syrup on hand and didn’t want to cut up a lemon)
- 1 packet of pectin
If you plan on canning your jam once its finished, prepare your jars ahead of time by sterilizing them in a hot water bath or running them through the dishwasher cycle.
Use a food processor/blender/magic bullet to puree your blueberries. Add berries, sugar and honey to a pot and heat until boiling. Once the mixture has reached a rolling boil, add pectin and lemon and stir – while boiling- for a full minute. Hopefully you used a big enough pot that it doesn’t boil over and create a sticky mess all over your stove top (I, sadly, did not)*. Now, I don’t like seeds and skins in my jams so at this point I poured the hot jam through a food mill into a waiting glass bowl. If you don’t have a food mill or aren’t bothered by the texture of seeds and skins, you can skip this step. Now its time to pour the still hot jam syrup into your prepared jars, pop on the lids and start canning. I’m not an expert on canning- though I haven’t killed myself or anyone else…yet- so I won’t explain how to do that here but you can use the water bath or pressure cooker method or you can just store your jam in the fridge or freezer. Be warned, though, that if you store it in one big bowl in the fridge, your friend may come over and eat it with a spoon as if it was soup.
*I am constantly making messes wherever I go which means that if I’m in the kitchen there will be something wet and/or sticky spilled. The best solution would probably be for me to stay in the barn or the garden but since I don’t have that much common sense the next best thing is to have lots of paper towels on hand and a good, natural cleaning product to use. Click here to learn about the super simple cleaning spray I make.