I realized it's officially blueberry season when I walked through the tail end of the Broadway Farmers Market and saw blowout half flat prices advertised in two-foot-tall-letters on vendor dry erase boards. $10=please take these off my hands now! I was at the market to buy tomatoes for slicing and sharing with company that night. I'd already bought strawberries and cherries the day before for weekend jam-making. I took the blueberries home for pure hand-to-mouth eating.
Blueberries hold a special place in my heart. I think they're one of the most addictive and simultaneously thirst-quenching fruits. I've been coming home late this week because of a tennis camp I participated in. I reach for water and blueberries first while I sort out the rest of a snack. But, for jam, blueberries were the first fruit that gave me hope that honey preserves could be legit. That glimpse came in the utterly spreadable texture of a Blueberry Butter I made three years ago. I remember finishing the cooking just as a friend came over. I jarred the Blueberry Butter while she sat on the couch. It was one of those pots of jam that you can't stop licking after all the jars have been filled. And it was the first preserve I didn't hesitate to give as a gift.
That spreadable texture I mentioned comes from the long cooking a butter goes through to reach its finish. Butters rely on fruit solids. There's a special density to them because there's less sugar. It's a lot of fruit, a little bit of honey to preserve and lemon to balance.
Apricots are another fruit that taste their best when preserved with a minimal amount of sugar. Apricots ask to be buttered. As Apricots have peaked and blueberries are rushing into the market, I'll be making multiple kettles of fruit butter from both blueberries and apricots this weekend.
And I'll be jarring the Apricot Butter and Blueberry Butter in my newly arrived jars! I make jam in very small batches. A half flat of fruit often produces a mere three to five 8 oz. jars. I like to have enough jam to taste right away, in two weeks and in 4+ months, not to mention jars for you fruit subscribers! To track shelf life and have plenty of options to share with you, I've decided to start jarring the jam in 4 oz. containers. I'm really excited about this. It means I can pass along more flavors within the subscription. This allows me to get a betters sense of what's working, what's not. Because! I am working on putting together poll/feedback page on StovetopLetters so that I might track your impressions of the jam. Keep an eye out.