August 10, 2008

Express blueberry jam

In Italy, jams are widely known as marmellate, and they are not quite the same as what you find in America. Here in America, jams always – or at least very very often – have a jello texture to me. I found out that usually you make jam adding more pectin than the fruit naturally has. We don’t do that in Italy. We just mix fruit and sugar (often in a 1:1 relationship!), and let the natural pectin in the fruit work. The result is more intense and richer, and often more sweet, than standard American jam.


7 cups blueberries

4 cups sugar (3 cups if you want a less sweet version)
1/3 cup water

Put the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until a very subtle golden caramel is obtained. Add the blueberries and cook for at least 30 minutes. Usually Italian jams don’t use water, but you have to mix the sugar and fruit together and let the sugar dissolve into the natural juices of the fruit. With blueberries you have to crush the fruit and let the sugar act overnight. Once you’ve done that, cook for about 30 to 40 minutes over medium heat. Since I used water, I was able to make the jam right away – that’s why I called it my express blueberry jam. You can also add lemon juice instead of water. To test the jam, put a dollop on a cold plate. If the jam doesn’t spread and it gels, it’s ready.

Today, you can read the Italian word confettura on imported labels, which also means ‘jam’. There is no difference between confettura and marmellata. Marmellata was widely used, but today according to artificial European Union standards marmellata (marmalade) is made of citrus fruits (like orange marmalade), while confettura is reserved for other kinds of fruit.
Posted by Daziano at 11:36 AM |  


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