Making Homemade Jams in a Jiffy: Double-Mint Blueberry Jam

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Photography by Howard Lee Puckett

The delicious duo of spearmint and peppermint blends beautifully with blueberries. For a more minty taste, add mint extract. Try this recipe with other good-for-you berries, such as raspberries and blackberries. If using dried mint, reduce quantity to 2 teaspoons. MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP

• 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
• 1 tablespoon fresh spearmint
• 1 tablespoon fresh peppermint 
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 tablespoons apple juice concentrate, thawed
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• 1?2 teaspoon peppermint and/or spearmint extract (optional)

1. Rinse blueberries; drain. If using frozen, completely thaw.

2. Combine mints and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and steep 5 minutes. Pour liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into a measuring cup, discarding mint.

3. Combine blueberries, apple juice concentrate, honey and lemon juice in a large nonstick skillet. Add reserved cup mint liquid and extracts.

4. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly and mashing berries with the back of a spoon until mixture reaches the consistency of jam.

5. Refrigerate jam in a bowl for about 1 hour until chilled. Conduct taste test and make corrections, if needed. (See sidebar, “Perfect Quick Herb-Flavored Jam–Every Time” on Page 37.) Store in a clean glass jar with a lid. Label and enjoy.

NOTE: To make Double-Mint Raspberry Jam, substitute 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries for blueberries.

A healthy-living writer and photographer, Letitia L. Star has written more than 1,000 published articles, including many on herbs and gardening.

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