I love the philosophies of jam. By ‘philosophies’ I refer to the hard-line rules (perhaps they are as rigid as ethics) that each of us have around what makes a great jam. Many prioritize the consistency or set of a jam while others may emphasize taste or texture.
I am less conventional. I am perfectly willing to deal with runny jam that borders on syrup in favour of flavor. For those interested in why, there’s 3 previous pieces that summarize my stance pretty well here:
- Guided by a Sense of Terroir (and not terror)
The concept of Terroir within cooking really hit home with me in 2010. Although I had been using the concept of cooking from my local pallete and what is available around me, my efforts in changing my style of cooking to reflect the area I live have dramatically increased since then. I feel like I am chasing Terroir and joining the conversation that is happening around our area to define “What is local cuisine?” This is especially fascinating to me in a city as multicultural as Toronto.
- What Have I got Against Pectin?
My initial thoughts on why I avoid commercial pectin and an easy experiment for those of you who use it.
- More Thoughts on Avoiding Pectin
I’m not an avid anti-pectin person but I did want to share more of my thoughts about it. :).
All of that is a very long way to say that this jam can be runny. It’s relatively low sugar, doesn’t have added pectin and adds maple syrup. All of that generally leads to a very, very loose set – but something that really tastes of its ingredients, of the area and isn’t overtly sweet. This tastes like it’s core ingredients – wild blueberries and maple syrup.
This is a great ingredient for baking, pancakes, ice cream, smoothies or, my favourite use, as a cheese topping for goat cheese (chevre). It’s mad-good with cheese.
- 6 Cups Blueberries
- 3 Cups Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1/3 Cup Bottled Lemon Juice (use the bottled stuff to be sure of the acidity).
Note: you could get a tighter set by not using maple syrup and using 2 cups of brown sugar and 2 cups of maple sugar.
Yield: 4-5 1-cup jars.
- Place berries in a wide pan.
- Crush berries with a potato masher.
- Add lemon, sugar and syrup, stir well.
- Let rest for an hour.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir frequently until jam is set – about 20 minutes after it starts boiling.
- Skim foam, pour into sterilized 1-cup (half-pint or 250 ml) jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
This is a magical taste of late summer and something I just simply adore.
EDIT (Feb 27, 2012): Have you made this and are looking for an amazing way to eat it? Try incorporating it into our fluffly lemon curd; it’s stunning.