Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blueberry Jam with Pineapple Mint and Pineapple Sage

Blueberries are still happening! Is it me, or does this seem like a long season? I'm always amazed by fruit. Isn't it the most incredible thing to see rows and rows of bushes heavy with blueberries? I visited Greig Farms in Red Hook for their no-spray blues which go for $2.50 a pound. There is a lot to visit on their rural block, what with Alison Vineyards, Gigi Market, and Grandiflora.

Somebody had a lot of fun picking their favorite fruit. Add to that some tractors and goats down the block at Gigi's, and then the pond at Grandiflora with huge koi in it. Well, all that adds up to a good nap for a little two-year old boy on the ride home. And a good quiet ride home equals time to think of what to make with the huge bucket of blueberries sitting politely on the passenger seat. The following recipe is one of three blueberry jam recipes I've made to date.

Blueberry Jam with Pineapple Mint and Pineapple Sage

2 cups apple pectin stock*
2 T lemon juice
3 cups of sugar
4 cups of blueberries
Sprigs of mint and sage to taste

Add everything to your jamming pot, minus three cups of blueberries. At medium-high heat, dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil. When the mixture boils, add the three cups of blueberries, which you have lightly mashed. The temperature will lower, naturally. When it reaches a boil again, watch for the gel stage. My jam set very well at 216 degrees on a candy thermometer. Skim the beautiful magenta foam well! At the very end, before you turn off the heat, add the leaves of mint and sage in a cheesecloth and let them swim for a minute, depending on how herb-y you want your jam. Process for ten minutes in a boiling water bath.

*I used 4 lbs. of green, wild apples, quartered with blossom end and stems removed in a heavy pot, covered with water. Boil for 30 to 45 minutes, until fruit is soft. Strain twice for clarity. You will have a thick, viscous liquid that can be frozen for later use.

I didn't add much mint and sage, or let them steep too long, but they did impart a distinct flavor, that I think added a green aspect to the otherwise sweet berry taste that straight-up blueberry jam has. I did pick quite a few green berries, and I think that upped the pectin content, in addition to the pectin from the apples.


  1. I'm so jealous of the fruit you are able to find. I was first feeling this way when I saw the apricots, and now I feel this way about the blueberries! There just aren't many spray-free blueberries places in SE Wisconsin, and I feel badly every year. I grew up in Northern WI, where we never had a shortage of blueberries - and I miss them! At least I can live vicariously through your posts!

  2. I don't think I've ever had blueberry jam. Pineapple sage and mint seem like fine accompaniments.

  3. I want to come over and be your student/sous chef. I wonder how far Esopus is from me?! ;-D I would love to try this. Maybe after I get home from the shore next week. You are a food rock star, Julia!

  4. Oh, you an your blues! They're so beautiful. Blueberries are soooo expensive here. I waited and waited to get a good deal on organic blues at the market so I could have just one batch this year.

    But. I have pineapple sage and my neighbor has a peach tree that's about to bust loose. How does peach and pineapple sage sound to you? I'm thinkin' about it.

  5. Rebecca - It's so sad you don't get any blueberries!! I'm so sorry. Truly. Blueberries make me so, so happy, so I know how you must feel! I'll post more blueberry jam recipes, stat!

    Denise - That is a crazy shame. I might have to do something about that.

    Leesie - Aww! Thank you! I'm a hack, really! You would be appalled at how I just throw things together. Although, I do think we are pretty close!

    Shae - Again, I'm sorry! I do think peach and pineapple sage sound amazing. I think sage is meant for peaches! What a good idea....

  6. It's amazing how big & fat the blueberries are this year, no? It's odd; last year I was completely swamped with work in August and I missed blueberry season entirely, but picked 40 lbs of black cherries. This year I missed cherry season entirely while in South Africa, but have picked about 30 lbs of blues. I'm starting to accept that there will never be a season when I get as much as I want of EVERY fabulous fruit out there.

  7. Kaela - Man, those numbers are impressive! But, it's true. I'm scrambling to get everything and it's a challenge. Especially since this season has us on its toes, with the two weeks early and everything rushing through its season. Gar!