Blueberry Jam… It's like summer in a jar. A little way of bringing those fresh summer berries along with us through the upcoming cooler months. I know, most of you are groaning that I even brought up cooler weather. But we have to face it eventually, so why not preserve some of the sunshine and keep it tucked away in the pantry for when you're craving a little bit of sunny weather?
I do love fall, and I'm excited for it every year. Yet, it somehow moves all too fast and I find myself wishing for warmer weather again. So I like to prepare a few summer food favorites that I can enjoy in the gloomy winter months. I freeze watermelon for watermelon smoothies. I freeze peaches and cantaloupe for sorbets, and I start making preserves.
One of my favorites is this recipe for Blueberry Vanilla Jam. It's bright and vibrant with a vanilla backbone. It's great for toast or slathered on English Muffins. I also love slathering it on a PB&J Sandwich with a giant glass of milk. It's one of my ways I stock up on summer. You should try jarring a little of your summer too. The kiddos will fall in love with this delicious Blueberry Vanilla Jam.
Please don't worry about the lack of manufactured pectin in this recipe. If properly heated (to 213 degrees F), then the natural pectin in the blueberries does its job–no pectin additives necessary. Embrace the natural pectin! It's perfect–trust me!
- 4 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Sterilize canning jars, and equipment if canning.
- Combine the blueberries, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium high heat.
- Begin stirring and mashing the blueberries with the back of a wooden spoon while cooking until desired consistency. The blueberries and their juices will begin to boil rapidly.
- Continue cooking the berries until the mixture reaches 213 degrees F on a candy or instant read thermometer, stirring occasional to keep the mixture from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the mixture has reached 213, remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. (Be aware your jam could start to bubble vigorously at the addition of the vanilla. This is only due to temperature differences between the jam and the extract.)
- Skim off any foam.
- Let cool 15 min. If you jar the jam immediately, the juices can separate while in their jars.
- Once cool, place in jars and refrigerate and the jam will be good for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, you can continue on to the preserving process that I've briefly explained below:
- Once slightly cooled, stir well, and then transfer to sterilized jars with a ladle or funnel, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
- Remove any air bubbles, and wipe the rims clean.
- Place and adjust the lids. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.
- After the jam is canned, it is good for up to one year in a sealed jar.