I always thought you need special gelling/jam sugar to make jam. This type of sugar contains pectin as a gelling agent, and often citric acid as a preservative. I did not really want to use this in my attempt to make my own homemade jam, as the purpose was to get something with just fruit and sugar.
So I just tried it with normal sugar..and you know what? It worked really well! I actually like its slightly runnier consistency much better as it tends to soak in the bread…mmmh!
I actually had to cook my jam longer when using normal sugar, but otherwise, it worked quite well. So here is how to make your own blueberry jam with nothing more than fruits and plain white caster sugar.
Ingredients (makes 3 full jars):
300 g blueberries
300 g sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Put washed blueberries and lemon juice in the bowl of the thermomix. Chop at speed 3 for 10 seconds in order to smash the blueberries a little. Then add the sugar.
2. Cook in the thermomix for 20 mn/100°C/speed 1. To see if the jam has started to set put a spoonful on a plate, brush with your finger and if it wrinkles it is starting to set. If not cook 2 more minutes until you reach desired consistency.
If you don’t have a thermomix, just put your fruit and sugar in a pan on low fire and stir until desired consistency is reached.
Now here is the part you don’t want to mess up, if not your jam won’t keep very long: sterilizing your jam. The man of the house had to explain to me how this works, I had no idea how to do this. I am sure there are many way to make sure you have sterilised jars of jam, but this one seems the safest to me.
3. First, wash your empty jars with boiling hot water and let them dry. You can do this before starting to make the jam, so they will be dry by the time it is cooked.
4. Then fill a deep pan with hot water (water has to be high enough to cover your jars). Fill your jars with jam and close them tightly. Submerge your jars in the boiling water.
5. Bring water to the boil over high heat. Cover pan. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently for 10 minutes.
6. Remove the jars from the water and leave to cool. To make sure they are sterilised stay near, so you can hear them pop – this is the vacuum being sealed as the jars naturally cool. It is even easier to see now with the modern jars as the ‘button’ on top depresses to indicate it has sealed.