A few weeks ago, I did a slightly crazy thing. On Friday morning, I packed up my car, did some quick grocery shopping, and spent eight hours driving to Maine to teach a class at Frinklepod Farm. I got there around 10:30 pm, tumbled into a cozy bed tucked into stone room in a majestic barn, and woke up to a gorgeous morning, ready to teach.
I spent seven hours setting up, teaching (such a delightful group of students!), and cleaning up (thankfully, I had plenty of help from Flora and MaryJo) and then hopped back in the car and drove myself home. All told, I was only there for about 16 hours. I wish I’d managed to spend a little more time in Maine, but the craziness of late summer didn’t allow for me to spend any more time away from home.
Despite the shortness of my visit, I did manage to bring a little bit of Maine back home with me. Three perfect pints of intensely flavorful wild Maine blueberries.
Now, we get plenty of cultivated blueberries here in Philly, but these tiny wild berries are a different beast. Sturdy, tart, and intensely flavorful, they make gorgeous jam. They are also a little fiddly to separate from their stems (which is why, if you look closely, you’ll see a few stems. I lost my patience with trying to remove them all).
I used a ratio of three parts fruit to one part sugar for this batch (calculating by weight). This means, if you have access to wild blueberries and don’t have the exact amount that I used, you can still proceed with what you’ve got.
I might need to drive to Maine again next summer, so that I can make more of this tasty jam. (The jar labels pictured above are from site sponsor CanningCrafts and the jars are from site sponsor Fillmore Container).
- 3 pints wild blueberries (about 2 1/4 pounds)
- 12 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon powdered fruit pectin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
- Prepare a canning pot and 5-6 quarter pint jars.
- Wash the blueberries and pick them over for stems and leaves. Pour them into a wide, non-reactive pot and add the sugar, pectin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest and juice.
- Using a potato masher, break up the berries and work in the spices.
- Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring regularly for 15-20 minutes, until the jam passes your set test of choice.
- When you're satisfied with the consistency of the jam, remove the pot from the heat. Funnel the jam into the prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
- Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortably handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.