I have a freezer full of fruit and a few extra hours of downtime, thanks to holiday break. Time to tinker....
I want blueberry jam, but don't have any pectin in the pantry. (I could buy some, but it's something like seven degrees outside right now...and oh yeah, it's midnight in a small town and the grocery store is closed anyway.) I'm improvising....
This turned out pretty well. It's delicious, actually, so I'm capturing the recipe for next winter when it's midnight and cold and I have an insane urge to make jam.
2 pounds blueberries (remove as many stems as possible)
1 lemon (zest the outside; juice the inside)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1) Put the blueberries in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until they bubble or boil.
2) Add sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
3) Use immersion blender or potato masher to smash the berry and juice mixture. Simmer for ten minutes.
4) Remove from heat. Add vanilla and stir.
5) Cool. Scoop into jars and refrigerate. (Reserve some of the warm sauce for a bowl of ice cream right away. You can thank me later.)
This version has a consistency somewhere between a jam and a syrup. I'm going to use it for toast, smoothies, pancakes, and yogurt this week.