August 4, 2017

Making Blueberry Jam, Using Ume/梅を使って、ブルーベリージャムを作る

On August 2, my father got more than 2 kg of frozen blueberries from a neighbor.
I was given the assignment of turning them into jam. I first thought it was an easy task.
I first put the 2 kg of blueberries in two Tupperware containers, microwaved each container with 300 g of sugar in a 600-W microwave oven for a total of 4 x 3 = 12 minutes.
まず2キロのブルーベリーを2つのタッパー容器に入れ、各容器に砂糖を300 g入れて600Wの電子レンジで合計4 x 3 = 12分加熱しました。
Very watery. I left them overnight to see how the texture would change.
On the early morning of August 3, I checked them and found they were still watery. My father tasted some, and didn't like it. I decided to simmer them in an enameled pot for 20-30 minutes.

I added 400 g of sugar to the pot to make the blueberry to sugar ratio 2 to 1. I simmered them for 30 minutes. Still quite watery.
鍋に砂糖を400 g入れて、ブルーベリーと砂糖の割合を2:1にし、30分煮ました。まだかなり水っぽいです。
I decided to add two of the eight ripe ume that had been sitting in the freezer to add pectin.

After simmering for several minutes, I checked to see if the added ume had changed the flavor of the contents of the pot. I found that the ume had enhanced the flavor. The texture was still watery, however.

I later added two more.
Still watery. I decided to add all the remaining four ume.
I also added 200 g of sugar so that the jam would contain 60% sugar.
また、ジャム砂糖含有量が6割になるよう、砂糖を200 g足しました。

Still not quite jam-like texture. I decided to leave it overnight.

This early morning, I checked the texture to find it was slightly thicker than last night.

This time, I got an OK from my father. I rinsed four empty blueberry jam glass bottles with running water, and microwaved them, two at a time, in a 600-W microwave oven for one and a half minutes in an attempt to sterilize them.
My father consumes a considerable amount of store-bought blueberry jam with yogurt every morning. Luckily, I have saved some of the empty bottles.
The jam made from 2 kg of blueberries and 1.2 kg of sugar filled the four glass bottles.

I told my father that these four bottles contained eight ume seeds and that he should be careful when consuming the jam.

Why did I add ume, you might ask. Lemon juice is usually added as a source of pectin, but I didn't want to drive just to get some lemon juice. Ume contain a considerable amount of pectin, and besides, I know from the home-made grape jelly that ume have a potential to enhance the flavor of another type of fruit.