We’re jammin, jammin…

September 27, 2010 § 1 Comment

Todd’s a pretty normal guy but he has one big quirk.  His big quirk is that he doesn’t like jam.  It has something to do with the texture and also his aversion to fruit (his biggest quirk).  He even claims he can’t stand the smell of jam and leaves the room when I’m putting jam on my toast.

Despite his utter dislike of jam, yesterday afternoon he helped me make homemade blueberry lavender jam.  It must be love!

I’d never made jam before but saw this recipe on a friend of a friend’s blog.  How could I resist?

(From Surprised by Joy)

Blueberry Lavender Jam
Adapted from Vanilla Garlic

3 lbs of blueberries (48 oz.)
1 lb of sugar (16 oz.)
3 T. dried lavender
Juice and zest of one large lemon, preferably organic
1/4 teaspoon of butter (this prevents foaming)

Day Before Jamming: Measure out your sugar using a kitchen scale and place in a large bowl. Measure the dried lavender into the center of a square of cheesecloth and tie up tightly in a sachet. Bury this sachet in the sugar and cover well, letting it sit preferably for 24 hours. This helps infuse the lavender essence into the sugar, which lends to a beautiful, full flavor in the jam.

Day Of Jamming: Wash the blueberries and toss them into a stainless steel or copper pot, or a enamel lined dutch oven (not an aluminum pot as this will leach). Mash the berries with a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the lavender sachet, and stir. Let macerate for about 10 minutes. Place a small plate in the freezer, as this will be used for testing later.

Turn heat to medium-high. The mixture will bubble and froth vigorously. Skim the foam off the top with a slotted spoon, if necessary (the butter should help prevent foaming; I found stirring mine well kept it from foaming too much.) The boil will subside to larger bubbles, but still bubble vigorously. Be sure to stir frequently, to keep the jam from sticking to the bottom.

After about 20 minutes, begin testing the jam by placing a small amount on the cold plate. Allow 30 seconds to pass and then run your finger through it to see what the cooled consistency will be. Boil for a few minutes longer if desired for a thicker jam. (Because of the high amount of pectin, the jam sets up pretty well, so turn off the heat when it still seems just a little too liquidy.)

Remove the lavender sachet and discard, then ladle the jam into hot, sterilized canning jars* and seal leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids. Screw on the rings to finger-tight. Work quickly. Process in a water bath for about 10 minutes to ensure a good seal. (A large stock pot is perfect for this.)

Let the jars sit out on a towel overnight, and then store in a cool, dry place.

The only difference in how we made it was that we didn’t actually properly can it.  Instead, we just froze the jam we’re not using right away in sterilized canning jars so that we’ll have blueberry lavender jam available to us all winter long.  I tried it on my toast this morning and it turned out great – a really lovely combination.

“We’re jammin.  To think that jammin was a thing of the past, we’re jamming, jammin and I hope this jam is gonna last.” – B. Marley


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