Once upon a time, I used to make giant batches of jam out of a copper jam pot. Hair tied back in a bandana and sweat on my brow, I would stand for hours on end nurturing my fruit along its journey from raw to thick, sweet, jammy goodness. The base of pretty much every batch I made was fruit, sugar, and lemon juice. Since they had to be shelf stable once canned, there was an ungodly amount of sugar involved. One of the only fruits that didn’t need any sugar (or lemon juice really) was the humble apple. So you can probably guess that making applesauce was one of my favorites. But I digress. Back to jam, and more specifically, blueberry jam.
Blueberries were one of the hardest to get to set correctly. I never used pectin for any of my jams and instead relied on the magic of sugar, heat, and lemon juice. Since blueberries are lower in pectin than a lot of fruits, they took much longer to cook and never quite reached the same jammy consistency as say strawberries or rhubarb. Now that I don’t have to worry about canning and all that jazz, I can rely on the power of chia seeds to thicken my jam for me.
Upon purchasing the first container of local blueberries this season, my mind immediately went to the idea for these blondies. I’m not sure why exactly. Maybe I had a hankering for a grown-up version of a PB&J. All I knew was that I wanted a blondie with a galaxy-esque swirl of blueberry jam. Since there was no need (or want) to add a bunch of sugar to the jam to thicken it, I decided to use chia seeds. Not only do I get a nicely thickened jam, but I get the added health benefits of the chia seeds. That way, one doesn’t have to feel bad for eating one (or three) of these 😉