For me – and my toast – Spiced Blueberry Jam is at the pinnacle of preserves. Unlike other jams – strawberry jam, rhubarb and ginger jam – blueberries maintain their structure and texture throughout the jamming process. Dried and concentrated, the presence of whole berries adds a welcome burst of flavour – or several – to every mouthful. The experience is truly divine.
Blueberry jam is delicious, rich and sweet no matter what you do with it. But it can certainly be improved – and the edge removed from the sweetness – with just a little added spice. Though subtle, a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon adds that extra dimension that oft-frequented recipes usually demand. The result is a superb jam, one that is equally well received smothered on toast, cake or scone…
Probably the most attractive aspect of blueberry jam – spiced or otherwise – it its deep, vibrant purple colour. But it isn’t the shade of colour you’d necessarily anticipate, given the fruit’s blue colour and relatively clear center. Eaten fresh, blueberries are wasted; even the smallest amount of heat enhances their flavour and vibrancy on all counts. A controversial assertion that might be, but it’s one that I stand by unreservedly.
Spiced Blueberry Jam
Makes 2 Jars
- 600g blueberries
- 300g granulated or jam sugar
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- juice of 1 lemon
- Pop the whole berries, sugar, spices and lemon juice in a large saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Once all the sugar has dissolved increase the temperature to a brisk boil for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sterilise the jars and lids in the oven or with boiling water and place a side plate in the freezer.
- After 15 minutes of simmering take a small amount of the jam and place it on one of the chilled plates. Once a minute has passed push the cool jam with your finger. If the surface of the jam wrinkles it’s ready. If not, give it a few minutes more and try again.
- When ready, transfer the jam into two sterilised jars, seal and leave to cool. Once open, store the jam in the fridge, where it’ll last for many months. It goes brilliantly with banana bread…
Cost: With blueberries in season it’s easy to get your hands on them for a fairly reasonable price, though I have noticed that supermarket prices remain relatively inflated. Instead, get down to your local grocer where you could find 600g for as little as £3. Add to that the cost of the other necessary ingredients and what you have yourself is two jars of delicious spiced blueberry jam for around £3.70.