~ Blueberry Lavender Jam ~
Ahh, yes. It’s the end of blueberry season in Florida. I realize this may seem like a bummer, but I try to look at the glass as half-full: blueberries are on sale right now!!!
It’s jam time.
(update: this blog post is several weeks old, so I hope blueberries are still affordable where you live!!)
The addition of lavender was, to me, a natural one. Ever since making my first batch of Honey Lavender Ice Cream for this year’s spring/summer season, I’ve been finding wonderful ways to incorporate lavender into my dishes. This has more to do with the fact that I have an abundance of it from buying in bulk (i don’t recommend doing that)…and less to do with my affinity for it. In fact, I try to use it sparingly. Despite it’s striking beauty & scent, it’s the type of floral herb one can get sick of rather quickly in dishes.
But blueberries and lavender go together like chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream, so I couldn’t resist. The flavors compliment each other so wonderfully in this jam and create a subtly floral, very-berry, sweet treat that you can spread over hot buttermilk biscuits…or drizzle on a stack of pancakes.
After all, who doesn’t love a little blueberry in their life?
Here’s what you need:
4 pints organic blueberries
2 tbsp lavender
Cheesecloth & Kitchen Twine
2 tbsp fresh organic lemon juice
Zest of 1 organic lemon
6 cups sugar
1 package of pectin
What to do:
First, properly sterilize and prep all of your canning equipment (jars, lids, rims). Have your lemons zested and juiced; your lavender ready-to-go; etc. Once the process begins, it moves quickly and you don’t want to be fumbling around for things.
*To make a lavender sachet: pour 2 tbsp lavender buds into the center of a small-cut piece of cheesecloth. Bundle into a tight ball and tie with kitchen twine.
Pick through & wash your blueberries.
Put them in food processor.
Pulse until desired consistency (I don’t like big chunks of fruit in my jam so I process until nothing but small bits of blueberry skin are left.)
Pour into a large stock pot.
Add pectin, lemon juice and zest.
Turn stove on to medium-high, continuously stirring to prevent the mixture from burning.
Add lavender sachet to the pot.
Once the mixture has come to a rolling boil, add 6 cups of sugar.
This will bring the boil down, so just keep stirring until it’s brought back up to a boil again.
After a few minutes of boiling the jam, it’s time to put your spoon to the test. (refer here for explanation).
Don’t worry if your jam seems a bit runny on your spoon; as long as it somewhat jells, you’re golden. It will continue to set more as it cools.
Remove pot to another burner, off the heat. Take out lavender sachet - squeezing out all the jam that seeped into it - and keep stirring mixture continuously for 5 minutes off the heat. This will give your jam an extra-glossy appearance and will prevent heavier bits of fruit from falling to the bottom.
Now it’s time to start canning!!
Fill your jars almost to the rim, leaving a 1/4-inch head space.
One by one, take the lids/rims out of the hot water and place onto cans. Carefully screw on the tops.
See how beautiful and glossy it looks already??
You will not need a water bath for this jam. I simply turn the jars upside down and cover them with a dish towel on the counter. Check back a few hours later and they will all be sealed. Works like a charm every single time.
Once your jars have completely cooled, it’s time to get creative and decorate! (this is my favorite part).
Since I love that rustic look, I cut out small squares of Burlap Garland and tied them around the rims with kitchen twine. I then took neutral-colored, pretty labels and simply affixed them to the jars, centered underneath the bow.
Before the labels:
After the labels, it went a little something like this:
Absolute gourmet-jam perfection.
I’ve already gifted my jam to customers & friends, and believe me - they are so thankful, so impressed - and seriously begging for more. Canning homemade jams, chutneys and curds is such a great way to show people you care and spread some love around. Literally. :)
So the next time you have an abundance of blueberries (or happen to see them on sale at the store), consider making this delicious blueberry-lavender jam & share with the people you love! You - and your lucky jam recipients - WON’T be sorry.
(recipe by me)