Jams and preserves

“Da ba dee” blueberry jam

Are there any other poor souls out there whose minds have been tormented by this song in their youth?

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A representative sample of Da da bee.

My beloved blueberries are in season. True, we are not talking about wild blueberries…I haven’t found a spot for picking those yet, but we managed to get me some local blueberries from Wilmont Orchards. I chose these blueberries because they are pesticide and herbicide free. The trip to the orchards makes a great date or a family trip. After hard labour and 6 kg blueberries later, we rewarded yourself with a cone of blueberry ice cream from the Wilmont Cafe. The ice cream itself is not spectacular; it’s too sweet for my taste and if I had not been told it is blueberry flavour, I would have never guessed it. Nonetheless, the ice cream works great to cool you down! Afterwards, stopped for a picnic at the Ajax Waterfront. A great spot for another date, this time with great views.

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How could I possibly make my 6 kg of blueberries last longer?… Lets make jam!

My blueberry jam is based on my standard jam recipe… with 2 modification: 1) I only had 7 apples as opposed to the 10 apples my standard would call for based on the requirement of 2 apples per kilo; 2) I added another lemon in the midst of boiling because I thought the jam was too sweet.

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5 kg of blueberries for jamming.

Out of the 6 kg of blueberries, 5 kg went into my jam made approximately 4 litres of jam. The rest made a handsome pie. This time I recycled jars I already had at home. It’s a great practise which has obvious advantages: it reduces the cost, lessens environmental impact by reusing what you already have, and it adds character to your jam in the form of varied shapes and sized of jars.

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Da ba dee is great on toast with cream cheese.

The consistency of “Da ba dee” is very nice: light, soft and gel-like but not liquid. It is super easy to spread which is most likely due to the lower number of apples, and hence pectin, I added. The sweetness of this jam makes it a perfect match for a variety of sour counterparts. I love it on toast with cream cheese as it contrasts very well with the sourness of the cheese. Because of its lovely consistency this jam will be great for yogurt and as an addition to cakes that require a small but conspicuous burst of sweetness.

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Healthy snacking with Da ba dee.

Two issues with “Da ba dee” worth mentioning:

  1. In my opinion this jam is too sweet. Next time I will definitely add a bit less sugar, maybe about 500 g per kilo instead of 750 g and add the extra 3 apples I omitted this time to help harden the jelly.
  2. To me, the jam does not taste like a blueberry jam. The reason for this is most likely the kind of blueberries I used for this jam – American blueberry. I grew up on wild blueberries whose intense flavour and colour will never compare to the american variety. However, I think that by reducing the sugar content (as per above) I may be able to bring out the best of the ‘merican blueberry.

All in all, I am quite happy with “Da ba dee”. Maybe you will be among the lucky ones to try it soon?

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Variety of jar sizes and shapes make your preserves look unique.
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