Yield: about 4 half-pints
Blueberries are the perfect fruit for a first-time jammer. They’re naturally high in pectin, so the finished jam should set up nicely (though if it’s a little runnier than you’d like, call it pancake topping and pour it over a Saturday morning stack). If the spices aren’t for you, omit them; just keep the lemon juice, because it helps to balance the sweetness. Try it swirled into yogurt with some granola.
Prepare a canning pot water bath and four half- pint jars.
Place the blueberries in a 12-inch nonreactive skillet. Using a potato masher, mash the blueberries until they’re mostly crushed. Stir in the sugar until well combined. Let sit, stirring once or twice, until the sugar begins to dissolve, 5 to 10 minutes.
Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium high, and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid begins to evaporate and the mixture begins to thicken, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Continue to cook until the jam has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes more; it is done when you can pull a silicone spatula through the jam and the space you clear stays open for 2 or 3 seconds. The mixture will continue to thicken as it cools, so make sure to stop a little shy of your desired thickness.
Use a funnel to pour the jam into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars, and put them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortably handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
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