Blubarb Jam

blubarb-jamBlubarb. Bluuuuuuuuuuubarb. Sounds like a particularly dense cartoon pirate, doesn’t it? I picture Barney, in a white, puffy Seinfeld shirt and an eye patch. With a rakish sword at his side, of course (if he can find a sword belt to fit around that rather prodigious middle. He’s probably been eating too much blubarb jam.).

So: blubarb. Blueberry + rhubarb = blubarb. Wild Maine blueberries, in this case, harvested last August, frozen, and sold to a grateful locavore, who missed her own blueberry season in New York due to a crazy work schedule last summer. Ensconced lovingly in said locavore’s chest freezer, that is until June started knocking on the calendar (three days! Three! Wasn’t it just Christmas?). Taken out of the chest freezer to thaw last week, as part of #ChestFreezerDefrostWeek (which is stretching into #ChestFreezerDefrostMonth it seems), in which I attempt to use up everything in the freezer in preparation for a thorough defrost & cleaning prior to loading it back up again this summer.

And: rhubarb. Local organic rhubarb from Accord, NY, in this case. Even though I still have frozen rhubarb from last Spring in said chest freezer (and I really need to use it up: see #ChestFreezerDefrostMonth), I was powerless to resist the Siren Song of Rhubarb at Julia’s Half-Pint Preserves pop-up shop last weekend. Five pounds of local rhubarb made its way home with me (as well as some backyard-chicken eggs and a trio of super-cute speckled cheese crocks), and as I had both thawing blueberries and fresh local rhubarb in the fridge: blubarb jam.

The resulting jam is really quite nice: soft set, but not as soft & syrupy as my previous batch of wild blueberry jam; very tangy (not at all sweet, as Tai says) but nicely balanced, and with just a hint of floral lemon from the Meyer pectin. It’s also a nice use for the not-so-vibrantly-pink rhubarb that we tend to grow here in the Northeast, as the greeny-brown color of cooked rhubarb is masked beneath the vibrant purple of the blueberries.

Now, ten jars line my pantry shelves, moving the backlog from the fridge & freezer to sit safely in the larder, waiting for cooler days. And another preserving season has begun.

Check the preserves page for more blueberry or rhubarb inspiration, or use the category search “rhubarb” or “berries” for sweet & savory recipes.

blubarb-jamWild Blueberry & Rhubarb Jam

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 and ½ lbs wild blueberries, (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 lbs rhubarb, sliced to ½-inch (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 and ¼ lbs (4 and ½ cups) sugar (organic evaporated cane juice)
  • 8 oz (1 cup) Meyer lemon pectin
  • large pinch sea salt

METHODS

  1. In your largest preserving pot, combine blueberries, rhubarb, sugar, pectin and salt. Stir to mix and, if you have time, allow to macerate for 1 hour (or up to 3 days).
  2. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
  3. Bring fruit to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil hard, without stirring, until jam reaches the set point (220 degrees F on an accurate thermometer, or a small dollop of jam wrinkles after 2 minutes on a frozen plate). My batch achieved a loose set at 218 degrees F.
  4. Ladle hot jam into hot jars to ¼-inch. Wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Yields about 10 cups.

blubarb-jamOPTIONS

  1. This is a very big batch of jam: almost too big. It easily could, and probably should, be cut in half. I was in a hurry, though, and it did reach a set point relatively quickly (about 20 minutes) for such a large batch. Just make sure you use your largest, widest pot so it doesn’t take forever to cook.
  2. As this is relatively low-sugar (only about 50% sugar by weight as compared to the fruit), I do think it needed the pectin boost. If you prefer a sweeter jam, you may be able to get away without added pectin; but I would add the juice of one or two lemons to help with the set.
  3. Several flavors would work nicely here if you feel like something more exotic: candied ginger, rosemary, cinnamon stick, minced hot chile.

STORE

Canned, store up to 1 year in a cool, dark spot.

SEASON

Year round with frozen fruit.

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21 comments

  1. Bahaa!! I think you should have actually put ‘Blubarb’ on the labels. Or ‘Rhuberry’. Both equally awesome! I love the idea of the flavour combination. Sounds gorgeous… I can imagine this with everything from cheese (as per your serving suggestion) to turkey, pork and chicken! Thanks for the recipe. And the word Blubarb. I’m going to create opportunities to say it at various intervals today (and I’m about to head to work. Ha!)

  2. Kate

    I made some this past rainy Sunday – found a bag of frozen blueberries from last year and figured I’d better use it up. The jam is outstanding!

  3. Looking good! I’ve always wanted to do blubarb, and mostly just to say it. And how do you label things so darn fast? It takes me forever!!
    p.s. I’ve totally been with you on the freezer clean out program, and you’ve inspired me to actually defrost it and clean it.
    p.p.s. Thanks for the HPP Pop Up Shop mention!

  4. Haha – arrrr, cap’n blubarb! I am so accustomed to seeing strawberry rhubarb this, and strawberry rhubarb that, it’s really nice to see blueberries and rhubarb getting together for once. I’ll have to try this combo when my rhubarb plant is big enough to harvest… sounds so good!

  5. EL

    I also am really glad to see something other than the strawberry rhubarb combo. I also love rhubarb and raspberries. Your jam sounds good, but my rhubarb patch is very young and I don’t have enough for this yet (I refuse to buy it, as it is so easy to grow — and so expensive to buy). But I am hoping to get some popsicles this year.

    I had to laugh about the clean out the chest freezer month. I think that many of us have that problem, but with the fruit at least, I have found that smoothies (as it gets warmer) help to take out the fruit pretty quickly. My problem is mostly with eating the meat fast enough.

  6. Oh I just love this!! I was racking my brain to come up with something to do with the local rhubarb I have other than the same ol’ same ol’ strawberry combo. This is perfect!! I cannot wait to try.

  7. Going with the suggested Rhuberry, as the one I came up with had fresh strawberries as well. It came out hot pink, surprisingly floral, with a lovely sweet, tangy flavor.

    • I’m sorry: I’ve never worked with Pomona, personally, so I really couldn’t guess. There are 4 and 1/2 lbs of fruit, so it is a large batch: you might want to make a small, 1-lb batch first and test out the Pomona’s.

  8. Pingback: Rain To Green

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