It’s closing in on the last few hours of a long weekend. Today – the first Monday in September – is Labour Day. For most people the day is simply a holiday. A day off from work. No matter how much one enjoys their job, an extra long weekend is a good thing!
Here in Ontario, school starts tomorrow. So today is also one last chance to get ready for the “new year”, as anyone connected to the school system typically views the beginning of September.
Personally, I tried to do as little as possible this Labour Day, mostly because I’m lazy, but also because the next few months are my busiest time of year at work. Rest while you can, I figure. And so I did.
In between the resting, I did manage to whip up a small batch of blueberry freezer jam. Making freezer jam can not, in any conceivable way, be considered work. It’s way too easy. Check out the recipe below and you’ll see what I mean.
I used sweetener (SPLENDA) to make the jam because I had some in the cupboard and because I’d never made jam using a sweetener before. It worked just fine. After licking the spoon I used to stir the jam, I’d give two thumbs up for the jam’s flavour and consistency. (The real test will come tomorrow morning when I sample the jam on my breakfast bagel!)
If you’re looking for jam and jelly recipes, including freezer recipes and some using sweeteners, try the following web sites:
* Bernardin – look under Recipes, then under “Jams, Jellies & Other Fruit Spreads” or “Reduced Sugar or Salt Recipes”
* Kraft Foods
Blueberry Freezer Jam
(Makes about 4-1/2 cups/1.125 L)
4 cups (1 L) crushed blueberries (about 4 pints/2 L)
2 teaspoons (10 mL) finely grated orange or lemon rind
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) SPLENDA (No Calorie Sweetener) or granulated sugar
1 pouch (45 g) freezer jam pectin
Wash and rinse five 1 cup (250 mL) mason jars and lids.
Pulse blueberries in a food processor (do not puree until smooth) or crush blueberries by hand. Measure 4 cups (1 L) crushed blueberries into a saucepan. Stir in grated orange or lemon rind.
Heat blueberries on stovetop, stirring frequently just until they come to a boil. (This step is not essential but heating the berries intensifies their colour and flavour and soften the skins so the jam spreads smoothly.)
In a large mixing bowl, combine pectin and SPLENDA or sugar until well blended. Add fruit mixture to pectin and sweetener or sugar mixture; stir for 3 minutes.
Ladle jam into jars, filling to about 1/2-inch (1 cm) from the top of the jars. Wipe rims of jars with a clean cloth, removing any spilled jam. Cover jars securely with lids. Let jars stand until jam has thickened, about 30 minutes.
Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freeze up to 1 year.