Why This Recipe Works: We set out to create a sophisticated and flavorful jam that paired the natural floral notes of blueberries with bergamot-infused Earl Grey tea. For this two-jar recipe, using a large saucepan proved crucial in ensuring that the delicate blueberries gently cooked at the proper rate to simmer and release their juices. Overcooking the berries produces a gritty and leathery jam due to the blueberries’ thick skins and numerous tiny seeds. For a foolproof set, we needed to add store-bought pectin. We found through testing that the best way to infuse tea flavor into the jam was to steep five Earl Grey tea bags with the blueberries for the entire time the blueberries cooked. We were left with a blueberry jam imbued with the subtle flavor of Earl Grey tea.
Fresh ripe-yet-firm blueberries are best, especially if used as close to the time of picking as possible. We found that Twinings Earl Grey Tea imparted the best flavor. For safety reasons, it is imperative to use bottled lemon juice, not fresh-squeezed juice, in this recipe.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Yield: two 1-cup jars
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon Sure-Jell for Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes
15 ounces (3 cups) blueberries
5 Earl Grey tea bags, strings and tags removed
1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and Sure-Jell in bowl. Bring blueberries, tea bags, lemon juice, and lemon zest to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until blueberries have softened and released their juice, about 5 minutes.
2. Bring mixture to boil over high heat. Whisk in Sure-Jell mixture and bring to boil. Whisk in remaining 11/4 cups sugar and bring to vigorous boil. Once boiling, cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove pot from heat. Discard tea bags, gently brushing off excess jam, and skim any foam from surface of jam using spoon.
3. Meanwhile, place two 1-cup jars in bowl and place under hot running water until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes; shake dry.
4. Using funnel and ladle, portion hot jam into hot jars. Let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate until jam is set, 12 to 24 hours. (Jam can be refrigerated for up to 2 months.)