Preserved: Blueberry Port Jam
I used to work at a wine bar where we served small glasses of port over ice in the summer. Sacrilegious? Maybe. But it was also relaxing, refreshing, and delicious. It got me thinking about other ways to enjoy rich, luscious port during the warmer months. That's how this jam, loaded with blueberries and spiced with cinnamon and cloves, was born.
I based this recipe on a recipe for blackberry port jam in Better Homes and Gardens. I swapped the blackberries for blueberries because they are in peak season here in the northeast, and because I thought their bright, slightly tart flavor would be a nice complement to the sweetness of the port. I also added a pinch of cinnamon and decreased the amount of cloves (a little goes a very long way in my book). The 1/2 teaspoon of butter added along with the port and spices discourages foaming. It isn't necessary, but I find it's often a big help. Don't feel like you need to use an expensive port for this jam. Anything in the low to mid-range will do just fine.
This jam has a deep, dark purple hue that looks almost black in the jar. The blueberries and port work together to create an intense, full-bodied jam bursting with ripe fruit flavors. In addition to the berries, there are notes of plum, cherry, and raisin. The cinnamon and cloves add a bit of warmth and an enticing, spicy aroma. It's bold enough to stand up to nut butters, and would be especially delicious used as a filling between two layers of lemon cake.