Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blueberry Vanilla Jam

Blueberries. Buckets and buckets of blueberries. Sounds like heaven, right?

I eagerly anticipate pick-your-own blueberry season each summer, and when I saw the announcement that the season was starting over at Scott's Yankee Farmer, I got there as fast as I could and between my sister and three nephews, picked about ten pounds of blueberries. I told you - BUCKETS!

Aside from eating them by the handful, freezing them for smoothies, and blueberry muffins, what in the world do you do with that many berries? Make jam of course!

Personally, I love using Pomona's pectin, because you can use it with low amounts of sugar or honey (about a 1/4 of the amounts in other jam recipes!). In the past, I have only made freezer jams, but have found that making cooked jam is not too much harder. 

As for the vanilla, I know I have waxed poetic before about the AMAZING vanilla bean powder from Wilderness Poets.... And I still love it just as much now. It is the perfect addition to this jam, rounding out the sweet-tart flavor of the blueberries. 

5 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
2 teaspoons pectin
2 teaspoons calcium water

Wash and rinse jars 6 half pint mason jars, then let stand in hot water. Bring lids to boil, then turn off heat and let stand as well. 

Pour blueberries, calcium water and vanilla bean powder into a large heavy saucepan and bring to a full boiling, stirring occasionally.

Whisk together the sugar and pectin, then whisk into the blueberry mixture. Whisk vigorously until the sugar and pectin is completely dissolved. Continue stirring until the mixture comes back to a full rolling boil, then remove from heat and let stand for five minutes before skimming off any foam.

Ladle the jam into your sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace, wipe rims and threads clean, then screw on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, then remove from water and allow them to cool for 24 hours.