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By the Book: The Art of Preserving’s Blueberry-Citrus Preserves

October 30th 01:10pm, 2012

I liked how in The Art of Preserving by Rick Field, Lisa Atwood and Rebecca Courchesne, there were the usual suspects of ingredients like strawberries for strawberry jam as well as some unexpected ingredients like kiwi, pomegranates and kumquats. The book offers ways in which to use the preserve: in crepes, as glazes or in baked goods like muffins. And most of the recipes don’t call for a ton of ingredients; they rely on the strength of flavor of seasonal produce, making them easy on the wallet.

In the August Issue of Sauce, we ran a story called Jam Session that was laden with pretty photos of preserves, including blueberry-lavender jam from Harvest chef-owner Nick Miller. It was lovely, almost black-looking with bright magenta hues where it was spread thin. Maybe that’s why I chose to make the blueberry-citrus preserves out of this book – or maybe it was because this recipe was so simple, I just couldn’t pass it up.

Now, I know it’s almost November and all … it’s probably not the best time to make blueberry preserves. However, I can always find those little gems and, with the help of some sugar and a lot of orange and lemon flavor, I thought it would be enough to brighten those berries up and make them shine. And they do. This preserve is sweet and citrusy with deep berry flavor.

Blueberry-Citrus Preserves
Makes 5 half-pint jars

2 oranges
2 cups (1 lb./500 g.) sugar
8 cups (2 lb./1 kg.) blueberries, stems removed
½ cup (4 fl. oz./125 mL) fresh lemon juice

Have ready hot, sterilized jars and their lids.

• Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from 1 of the oranges in strips about 1 inch (2.4 centimeters) wide. Remove as much pith as possible from the strips, and then cut them crosswise into thin strips. Cut both oranges in half and squeeze enough juice to measure 1 cup (8 fluid ounces/ 250 mL).
• In a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and orange juice. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is bubbling.
• Add the blueberries, lemon juice and zest strips. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes. The mixture should consist of whole berries floating in a dark, thick syrup.
• Using a slotted spoon, divide the hot berries among the jars. Ladle the syrup over the berries, covering them completely and leaving ¼ inch of head space. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the head space, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.
• Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Reprinted with permission from Weldon Owens. 

What’s your favorite memory of making jam? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of The Art of Preserving by Rick Field, Lisa Atwood and Rebecca Courchesne. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Colleen, whose comment on last week’s By the Book column has won him/her a copy of The Country Cook’s Kitchen. Colleen, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.


By Meera Nagarajan

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3 Responses to “By the Book: The Art of Preserving’s Blueberry-Citrus Preserves”

  1. Hao Says:
    October 30th, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    oh, man. this books sounds amazing. my old roommate used to make jam and preserves and she would make the kitchen smell DELICIOUS. :) that’s probably my favorite memory.

  2. Sue Says:
    October 30th, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    The first time I made strawberry jam I went to the farmers market and bought two case of strawberries. By the time I was through I had strawberry jam to give away to all of my friends and co-workers for Christmas. Unfortunately, the strawberry jam didn’t have enough pectin (I tried to be au natural instead of adding in purchased pectin) so they were better suited to strawberry topping for ice cream sundaes than PB&J. But it tasted delicous and my friends were pleased with my first jam making session.

  3. Sara S Says:
    October 30th, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    My favorite memory is making sunshine preserves with my grandmother. We would take whatever was in season in the way of berries or stonefruit and use equal amounts of fruit and sugar. Part of the fruit would be mashed and macerated for a few minutes and then it was brought to a boil and cooked for about 15 minutes. We would then spread it out on a cookie sheet and put it outside in the sunshine. It would dry out and thicken a little. Delicious on biscuits or even just toast. I make it still but put it in the oven on dehydrate to finish up. I am waiting for my grandkids to get a little older so they can learn to make it too.

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