Sadly, this has not been a summer of canning. Rather, this has been a summer of work, writing a cookbook, throwing a pop-up beer garden for the World Cup, and getting ready for a tiny human. I’ve been distracted, to say the least.
In the midst of the craziness, I’ve found pockets of spare time to can and preserve a few precious jars of goodies. I inherited a rather large stash of blueberries recently, and made a number of different dishes (including these blueberry and corn crostini). I set aside most of the blueberries, however, with the intention of making jam as I absolutely adore blueberry jam. In fact, blueberry jam might be my second favorite jam of all time. (It should go without saying that my Grandmother’s strawberry freezer jam is the best jam of all time.) Blueberry jam is just so dark, sweet, and wonderful. It is especially delicious when slathered on biscuits, toast, scones, or any other bready item.
For this particular batch of blueberry jam, I wanted to mix things up a bit. So, I decided to add lavender and vanilla bean. Because, why not? It sounded good. As it turns out, the combination of blueberries, lavender, and vanilla bean really is quite good. If you happen to have a few extra blueberries lying around, I highly encourage you to make a batch of this blueberry lavender jam. You won’t regret it.
- 8 cups fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender
- 4.5 cups sugar
- Zest & juice of one lemon
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 3 tablespoons Ball RealFruit Pectin
- ½ teaspoon unsalted butter
- Wash and sterilize jars and lids. In a large canning pot, cover jars with water and bring to a boil. Boil for at least 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow jars to rest in the hot water until needed. Additionally, places the bands and lids in a small pot and boil for a 5 minutes.
- Place lavender in a small bowl or cup, and pour ½ cup of boiling water over the dried lavender. Allow to steep for 15-20 minutes. Strain out the dried lavender and reserve the remaining liquid for the jam.
- Using a blender, immersion blender, food processor, or potato masher – mash or crush the blueberries.
- In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of sugar with the pectin.
- In large stock pot or pan, combine the crushed blueberries, lemon zest and juice, vanilla bean seeds, and lavender liquid. Stir in the sugar-pectin mixture and the butter. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Once the mixture is boiling, add the remaining sugar (4.25 cups). Return to a full rolling boil, and boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove jam from heat and skim off any foam.
- Remove jars from the hot water, and ladle jam into hot jars. Leave a ¼” head space. Wipe the jar rims clean, and place lids and bands on the jars. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.