Lower Sugar Blueberry Jam

Let me just say right up front that I have never made jam in my life. While I used to watch my mom and grandma can all summer long, and I now envy their knowledge and skills, I didn’t acquire the skill from them, much to my regret. Now I’ll have to teach myself, because I made jam yesterday and now I have the bug!

It turns out that there’s a jam-making feature on the new bread machine. Fascinated, I picked the easiest recipe with flavors I love and tried it out. The results, while not perfect yet, are absolutely amazing for a first-timer like me. It didn’t turn out perfect because I winged and modified it a bit for my budget and taste, and my math skills are pretty poor, Heh. What can I say? I’m an English teacher! Here’s what you need to get started:

Actually, you need a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon, but whatev.

Actually, you need a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon, but whatev.

Anyway, the recipe called for 6 cups of blueberries and I only had four, so thus began my modifications. See if you can spot my errors:

Cuisinart Recipe Book

My modifications

6 cups blueberries 4 cups blueberries
1 & 1/3 cups sugar 1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 cup stevia
1.75 ounces powdered pectin 1.50 ounces powdered pectin
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice About 3/4 of a 1/4 cup measuring cup of fresh lime juice
1 tsp lime zest

1 tsp lime zest

I guesstimated that 4 of 6 cups was about 75% when really it was about 66%. So I used a bit too much sweetener and lime zest. Doesn’t matter, because it still turned out excellent, if a bit sweet. Nevertheless let this be a lesson to young cooks everywhere who are not STEM majors in college: take more math classes than the bare bones, and avoid specialty qualifying math class like the Applied Algebra I took. Learning about apportionment in the House of Representatives and Rent formulas for mortgages and retirement was fun and all, but it can’t be applied in the kitchen. LOL.

At any rate, making jam in the bread machine is super easy. You just put the ingredients in the machine in the order listed. Here’s what it looks like:

Beautiful, yes?

Beautiful, yes?

Then set the machine for the jam setting, and walk away. Seriously. You can go play for an hour, since that’s all the time it takes. When you come back, you get some luscious, low-sugar, natural fresh fruit jam without all the extra preservatives that come with the store bought brand.  And it lasts for up to six weeks in the fridge and can be frozen, which is great, since this small batch produced almost four cups.

I couldn't believe I made this!

I couldn’t believe I made this!

You want to let it cool completely on the counter before you pop it in the fridge or freezer. I’m basically the only person in the house who likes jam, so I’ll be freezing two of these, eating off one for a while, and gifting the fourth. Here are the nutritional stats on this, thanks to the recipe entry feature on Myfitnesspal (I’m annabellep1 if you want to friend me over there). This is per tablespoon:

Calories: 15
Carbs: 4
Potassium: 7
Sodium: 6

No fat, and negligible protein.

Now I need to visit some thrift and garage sales to acquire some canning jars, because my new goal for the summer is learning how to can this stuff up, along with all the other stuff I plan on making, like tomato chutney!

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