Two of the more distinct blueberries memories I have include family and friend. The first, when I landed in this country at about this time of the year I was introduced to blueberries at family’s in Connecticut in what was referred to as Ma Sopher’s blueberry dessert, one that continues to be served for breakfast and continues to remain on the table to nibble throughout the day. The other, when I met a friend from New Hampshire in Baltimore who would talk at length about blueberries and happiness, so much so even though I was familiar with blueberries a new dimension was added.
While eating blueberries by themselves is quite a treat, here’s a simple method to make blueberry jam.
Blueberries that are ripe just so, seem to have a good balance of sweetness and acidity that they don’t need any sugar or lemon. However, if using a batch that invariably has some that are lacking in acidity or sweetness, adjust by adding some sugar and lemon. Toss the berries and transfer them into a short-walled oven-proof dish. Place the dish in a 375˚ oven until the berries have popped open, lost some water, and have mingled with each other to form a red bubbling jam that would thickly coat a spoon. Cool the jam a bit, before spooning it to use in a variety of ways. There seems to be enough natural pectin in these berries that a simple purée at room temperature results in a gelatinous mixture. Also, if the required amount of sugar is not added the jam will have a shorter shelf-life, therefore making smaller batches may be more practical.
Blue skinned with a white accent, and pigments that blend with the pulp to form a deep red, perhaps blueberries are just a red, white and blue coincidence of nature that are in season this time of the year in the United States, but they do remind me a bit about when I came to this country, and the people I've met.