Did you know that the average homemade jam canning recipe calls for 5 cups of sugar? The store-bought kind also most often contains excess sugar and additives. Our recipe for organic blueberry lime jam will show you tips to reduce the sugar content while enhancing the natural flavor of the fruit. If you’re new to canning, this recipe is also a step-by-step tutorial to help you get started! Canning is making a huge comeback because it’s an economical way to stock our pantries with real food free of chemical additives, as well as to enjoy every bit of our garden harvest year-round. Community gardens, canning classes and groups are becoming more and more common. It’s easy to find inexpensive canning supplies at just about any store.
Here’s a list of basic supplies, which can be found at stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond or online at Amazon.com.
- Water bath canner with rack
- Minimum of six 8-oz jelly jars for this recipe
- Tattler BPA-free reusable lids and rings
- Ladle and funnel for filling jars
- Jar tongs for lifting jars in and out of water bath
- Canning spatula for removing air bubbles from filled jars
Sugar is drastically reduced in this recipe by using Pomona’s Universal Pectin. The combination of pectin and sugar is what jells the jam. Pomona’s jells with less sweetener than other types of pectin, so the amount of sugar required is much less. You can taste the natural flavors of blueberries and lime as opposed to them being masked by tons of sugar. Pomona’s Universal Pectin is 100% natural and contains no sugar or preservatives.
Tip if you’re canning with really young kids: I found out the hard way that it’s helpful to have another adult nearby to help out. It’s tough to divide your attention between hot pots on the stove and little ones in the kitchen.
- 5 cups organic blueberries
- 1/4 cup organic lime juice (it takes about 3 limes to make 1/4 cup of juice)
- 1 tablespoon organic lime zest
- 2 teaspoons calcium water (calcium powder is included in the box of Pomona's Pectin)
- 1 cup organic pure cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons Pomona's Universal Pectin
- Wash blueberries thoroughly and remove stems.
- Wash and dry jars, then sterilize by placing on a clean cookie sheet in a 225-degree oven for a minimum of 20 minutes. Leave jars in the oven until you're ready to fill them.
- Prepare your water bath by filling it 3/4 full with water, then cover and bring to a boil.
- Heat jar lids and rings to 180 degrees in a saucepan. Keep at 180 degrees until you're ready to use.
- Make calcium water by mixing 1/2 cup water with 1/2 teaspoon calcium powder (found in your Pomona's box) and set aside. You'll only need 2 teaspoons, but the rest will keep for months in the refrigerator.
- Zest limes to make 1 tablespoon and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir well to combine sugar and pectin and set aside.
- Add blueberries to a large dutch oven over medium/high heat and lightly mash just to release juices. Stir in lime juice, zest and calcium water.
- Bring to a full rolling boil and stir in sugar/pectin mixture. Stir vigorously and constantly for two minutes, bringing back to a full rolling boil. Turn the heat off as soon as the jam reaches a full boil after the sugar/pectin is added.
- Using your jar tongs, remove one hot jar from the oven and set on the counter on top of a clean towel.
- With your ladle and funnel, fill jar to 1/4" from the top with jam.
- Repeat for the rest of the jars.
- Once all of your jars are filled, take a damp clean washcloth and wipe all jar rims clean. They won't seal if there is any jam residue on them.
- Take your spatula and run it along the inside edges of the jars to remove air bubbles.
- Remove lids from warm water and set them on tops of the jars. Tattler ring seals go underneath the white lids.
- Screw metal rings on each jar while holding lid on with one finger. The metal ring needs to be just tight enough to hold the lid on.
- Carefully set jars into the water bath rack using your jar tongs. Hold onto the handles of the rack and lower it into the water. Water should be about 1" above jars.
- Cover and boil for exactly 15 minutes.
- It's important to make sure the water doesn't boil over. Reduce heat if it boils too vigorously to avoid jars breaking.
- Remove each jar from water bath using jar tongs.
- Tighten metal rings.
- Each white lid will appear concave if it's sealed correctly. Jam jars that don't seal need to be refrigerated and eaten within 2 weeks.
- Cool jars for at least 24 hours before storing in a cool, dark place. They can be stored for 1 year.