Last week, on a scorchingly hot day, a friend of mine and I took our children to the local organic blueberry farm to pick some delicious high-bush blueberries. We picked over 3 kilos of beautifully plump sweet berries. I put about half in the freezer for next winter and have been busy using up the other half since then. I was of course contemplating what sort of jam or jelly I could make with them as well.
After talking with my mom she convinced me that star anise and blueberry are flavours that work really well together. She told me that the anise gives it a warm spiced undertone without being too overbearing. I wanted to add fresh ginger but she suggested to keep it simple and see how it turns out. And you know…I’m glad I listened to her. The jam turned out perfectly and there is indeed a deep blueberry flavour with the slightest hint of anise (which is a good thing because you don’t want to go overboard on such a pungent flavour).
This is a very simple and quick recipe. I cooked 6 cups of mashed blueberries with 3 1/4 cups of sugar, the juice of half a lemon and 2 whole star anise until it became thick and syrupy ( I ended up letting it simmer for about 20/25 minutes due to having to chase escaped chickens back into coop). Since I didn’t have any pectin to add it isn’t really thick but works just fine as a jam or a sauce to pour over ice cream.