Video copyright WCSH6, Portland, Maine

It was great to be back in the “207” kitchen the other day to make some blueberry-maple jam!  As usual, the crew at WCSH6 is a lot of fun to work with, and the segment aired here in Maine last night.   And, just in case the segment does what it’s supposed to do and makes you want to go get some blueberries to make jam RIGHT NOW, here’s the recipe!

Blueberry-Maple Jam
Yield: 4-5 half-pint (8 ounce) jars

To do ahead of time:
***Prepare the calcium water.  To do this, combine 1/2 teaspoon white calcium powder (included in the Pomona’s Universal Pectin package) with 1/2 cup water in a small, clear container with a lid. Shake well before using.  Note that you will have more calcium water than you will end up using in this recipe; simply store it in the refrigerator for later use.

2 1/4 pounds blueberries (or, about 8  1/2 cups)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons calcium water
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
2  teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin Powder

1.) Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands.  Set screw bands aside until ready to use.  Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil.  Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use.  Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.

2.) Rinse blueberries, then remove and discard stems.

3.) Mash blueberries thoroughly (a potato masher works well for this).

4.) Measure out 4 cups of the mashed blueberries.  (If you have any left over, you can use it for something else.) Pour the measured quantity into a large sauce pan. Add lemon juice and calcium water and stir to combine.

5.) In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup and pectin powder.  Mix well and set aside.

6.) Bring blueberry mixture to rolling boil over high heat. Add maple syrup-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return jam to a boil, then remove from heat.

7.) Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, leaving ¼  inch of headspace.  Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening binds only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).

8.) Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner.  (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water).  Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)

9.) Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes.  Then, remove jars from canner.

10.) Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours.  Then, confirm that jars have sealed.  Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.

A note about storage options for your jam:
***This recipe includes directions for canning your jam.  However, you may instead freeze your jam, or keep it in the refrigerator.  To do this, simply omit the canning portion of the directions (steps 7-10), then, after cooking, allow your jam to cool, place in freezer safe containers, and freeze or refrigerate as desired.  If you are freezing your jam,  be sure to leave extra space at the top of your jars to allow for expansion during freezing. Your jam will store well in the freezer for several months, and in the refrigerator they’ll last for 2 to 3 weeks.