After making 200 jars of jam for wedding favors this summer, I would say without hesitation that I know me some blueberry jam. I know it intimately in all it's stages; from freshly mashed berries, to the thickly bubbling mess turned dark purple by gobs of sugar, to the pleasant ping pinging pops made by the lids sealing themselves.
Maybe it's the superb Windrush Farm organic blueberries I'm using, but the recipe in the pectin box does just fine for my jam needs. We did try blueberry lime jam for the first couple batches this summer, but it didn't set well, and we found the flavor of plain ol' blueberry was not improved by the lime. (odd, I am usually in favor of the addition of lime to anything.)
Especially for jams, I found you don't need fancy canners or even racks. You need a large pot in which to boil the jars and lids, and you need some tongs to grab them with. It's important to jar the jam while everything's hot- jam, jars and lids- so that the jar will seal itself as it cools. With two part lids, you don't need to boil the outside ring- that part can be room temperature. It's also important to wipe the rim of the glass jar clean before screwing on the lid, to avoid bacteria and get a solid seal. Jam funnels are indispensable in this endeavor. It can help to have two people- one to tong and pour, one to wipe and screw. Right.
It's not as big of an ordeal as you might think. A batch takes an hour to make at most. Give homemade jam a shot next time you find fruit on sale or go a little ape in the berry patch.
Eric and I went picking in Blacksburg a couple weekends ago and I turned the berries into 4 more batches. I think we'll be set for awhile.