19 June 2010

Blueberry Opal Basil Jam

This week's CSA veggie box had lots of blueberries, so I spent some time this morning going through my recipe file to look for some different recipes for jams, preserves, etc. After making the Blueberry Lavender Jam I was on a roll using herbs, so second up is another recipe I have had in my files for a while and been wanting to try: Blueberry Basil Jam. Because I have a huge pot of opal basil and this seemed like a good use for it, I changed up the recipe to use the opal variety. This recipe only makes 2 or 3 half pint jars, so it is not overwhelming.

Here are the ingredients. I just love opal basil and feel like I don't really use it enough. The kitchen twine holder was a gift I got last year and I am really finding it useful.

Now the ingredients have moved to the pot (once again my Lilac Mist Le Creuset):

Jars of jam in the makeshift canner:

Blueberry Basil Jam in the jars and waiting for the ping.

I really like the flavour of the basil with the blueberries. For years now I've been making a Peach White Wine Sangria that uses peaches and basil, so I thought this flavour profile would be good. It's even better than I thought!

Blueberry Basil Jam
makes about 2 half-pint jars

3 cups blueberries, cleaned, stems removed
½ cups sugar
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 sprigs fresh opal basil
¼ cup water
1 tsp pectin

Toss the blueberries with the sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and let sit for one hour at room temperature.

Take the sprigs of basil and tie them together using kitchen twine.

Put the basil bundle in a heavy saucepan and smash the leaves to release the aromatic oils and flavour. Pour in the blueberry mixture and water and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Mash the berries so they are not chunky. Boil, stirring frequently for approximately 30 minutes. Stir in the pectin and cook 5 more minutes. Remove the bundle of basil from the jam using a slotted spoon and discard.

Ladle the jam into the jars leaving ¼” headspace. Top with lids and rings. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove from canner and listen for the ping to let you know the jars are sealed.

1. If you do not have opal basil, regular basil will do.
2. This recipe can be tripled successfully.

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