Blueberry Jam (smellslikehome)

8 dry pints fresh blueberries
4 c sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 t ground cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg
6 oz liquid pectin (2 packets)

Prep the berries: Wash, dry, and pick the blueberries over for stems. In a large bowl, mash the berries a few cups at a time and transfer the mashed berries to a large heavy duty pot before adding more berries to mash.

Canning Prep: Wash and dry your jars, brand new lids (never reused), and rings. Check the jars for cracks or chips and discard any that are damaged. Add the lids to a small saucepan filled with 1 – 2″ of water. Place the jars in your canning pot, set on top of a rack – not directly on the bottom of the pot – and fill the pot with enough water so that it covers the top of the jars by at least 1″. Cover and bring the water to a boil and keep the water boiling while you make the jam.

To make the blueberry jam: Mix the sugar into the blueberries and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the lemon zest, juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Boil the berries for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid allowing the jam to burn. Once the jam has thickened and looks shiny, stir in the pectin. Allow the mixture to boil for an additional 5 minutes. While the jam cooks, bring the water in the small saucepan to a simmer but don’t allow it to boil. This will soften the rubber seal around the lids and help them seal better when processed.

To can the jam: Turn the heat under the canning pot off. Remove the jars from the canning pot with your canning tongs, draining each well as you remove them. Using a clean canning funnel, ladle the jam into the jars leaving 1/2″ head space between the top of the jam and top of the jars. Clean the rim of each of the jars with a clean, dry towel and place a hot lid (from the saucepan) onto each jar. Add the rings and tighten just to finger-tight. The jars will be hot so use a kitchen towel to hold the jars while you do this. Transfer the filled jars to the canning pot rack with the canning tongs, lower the rack, cover, and bring the pot back to a boil. Process the jars for 10 minutes. If you are above sea level, you’ll want to check this site for processing times as the times vary with changes in sea level. Once the jars are finished processing, turn the heat off and remove the jars with the tongs, setting them on a clean, dry towel. Be sure to put them in a spot where you won’t have to move them for 24 hours. The lids should begin to seal with a “pop” sound shortly after you remove them from the pot. After 24 hours, remove the rings and lift the jars an inch off of the counter with your fingertips around the edge of the lids to check that the lids have sealed. If any of the lids have not sealed, refrigerate or freeze the jam immediately. The processed and sealed jars will keep for at least a year in a cool, dark space. Yield: about 5 pint jars or 10 8 oz jars.

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