Last year Hazel and I were on a jam making kick. We made strawberry jam with my mother and then went blueberry and peach picking and made jams from our fresh picked fruit. This year we experimented with a pectin free raspberry jam (made with frozen raspberries). We went blueberry picking this weekend and we tried two different kinds of blueberry jam recipes. We picked about three quarts of blueberries before Hazel got bored at Smolak Farms. (Then we went and found our friends who had given up earlier and looked at the animals some more, had lunch and went for a hayride.)
I made this recipe on my own since Hazel did not want to help at the time I wanted to get it made. It called for three cups of fresh blueberries, 1/4 cup of agave nectar, 1/4 cup of chia seeds and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. The recipe made two jars. The recipe on the package said to keep the jam in the refrigerator and did not mention boiling it and sealing the jars. I however found a similar recipe on line which stated you could boil and seal them, so I did. Otherwise the jam would last only a week and I knew we would not eat it that quickly. The recipe was very easy. You mixed the blueberries and the agave nectar in a pan until the blueberries softened and began to pop (about five minutes). Then you add the chia seeds and cook and stir until it thickens (about fifteen minutes). The directions said to let it cool and then add the vanilla. I added the vanilla before the chia seeds so I could do the boiling process right after it thickened. I made two jars. One which I will be giving to my mother to try.
The next jam we made using a new pectin that I got at a health food store. It is Pomona's Universal Pectin.
Following the recipe inside we needed four cups of mashed blueberries. Hazel helped with the mashing, but got tired of it quickly. With this pectin you have two packages inside. One is Pectin and the other is Calcium which you need to make into calcium water. For this recipe we used the four cups of mashed blueberries, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup honey and then two teaspoons of the pectin and 2 teaspoons of the calcium water. You mix the calcium water with the fruit and lemon juice. You mix the pectin with the honey. You boil the fruit mixture and then add the pectin mixture to it and boil it for another couple of minutes. Then you put it into the jars and seal them with a boil bath for ten minutes. This recipe made six and a half jars. Hazel and I tried both and liked both recipes. Now we may go back to the farm to go peach picking and possibly raspberry picking and make some more jam.