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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Blueberry Lavender Honey Jam {and National Can-It-Forward Day} Cooking View

Late summer means lots of things to me. The kids going back to school. My tomato plants (finally!) bursting with fruit. Attempting to ignore any yearnings for fall by eating as much summer fruit as possible. And, of course, canning. There are not many things as satisfying as hearing the popping sound of jar lids sealing. Canning tomatoes to last us through the winter is now a late summer tradition for me.  Along with tomato canning, I usually like to make at least one or two batches of jam.

If you were to ask me about my happy place, I can assure you that it would involve some really good bread, high quality butter, and excellent jam. The problem is, I always have such a hard time deciding what flavor to make. There are just too many wonderful possibilities! After browsing around a bit, I decided to make something with berries and a hint of lavender.

You may recall that I only recently came around to the idea of lavender in food, but I have to tell you that in this recipe, it’s pretty much perfect. I adore this jam. The initial taste is the floral note of lavender which is quickly replaced by the fresh blueberry flavor and a hint of honey. As much as I love classic unadulterated fruit jam, the lavender does a beautiful job of enhancing the berry flavor here. If you’re on the fence about incorporating floral essences into food, this would be a perfect first recipe to try. And also if you are new to canning, this is a very simple, low complexity recipe that would be great for a beginner. Don’t be scared of canning! I was definitely intimidated by it the first time I tried but, like almost everything in the kitchen, you’ll do just fine if you follow the recipe.

Did you know tomorrow is International Can-it-Forward Day? Perhaps you remember me mentioning it last year? The concept behind this event is to allow home cooks to connect via a series of online parties and in-person activities. This year the main event is taking place at Brooklyn Borough Hall Farmers Market, featuring a live webcast with Bravo’s Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson. The webcast will include canning demos where viewer questions will be answered in real-time by Chef Acheson and other experts while they learn popular (and delicious) home canning recipes. Twenty five farmers markets across the country will also be hosting Can-It-Forward Day celebrations! So, so cool! I love seeing people coming together excited about making and preserving homemade food.  The webcast will start at 10 am EST on Saturday, August 16 and I’ll embed a link once it is live. (Update: Link to live webcast HERE!)

To help celebrate Can-It-Forward Day, Ball is also providing an awesome giveaway for my readers with some great canning supplies and other preserving items to get you started.  Visit the giveaway page to find out more and to enter!

Blueberry Lavender Honey Jam
Yield: 6 (8 oz.) jars

Ingredients

  • 6½ cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 3 tbsp. bottled lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. dried lavender buds (culinary grade)
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. low or no-sugar pectin
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
Cooking View

Directions

  • Spread the rinsed berries out in a single layer on a rimmed platter or baking sheet.

  • Coarsely mash the berries with a potato masher (or the bottom of a jar).

  • Before you start cooking the jam, prepare your jars. Heat the jars in a pot of hot water (about 180˚ F) until ready to be filled.  This will prevent the jars from breaking when added to the canner.  At this point you should also have a boiling water canner nearly ready to go, with the water heating to 180˚ F.  (I simply use the water that is already heated in the hot water canner to avoid using an extra pot and taking up more room on the stove.) 

  • In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, combine the berries, apple juice, lemon juice, lavender buds and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. When the mixture reaches a boil that cannot be stirred down, stir in the honey and sugar. Return to a boil and continue to boil for 1 minute more.

  • Remove the pot from the heat. Skim the foam off of the surface, if necessary.

  • Remove the jars from the hot water bath. Ladle the hot jam into hot jars leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean dry cloth. Place lids and rings on each jar, closing the rings just until you encounter resistance AKA”fingertip tight” (not too tight).

  • Load the jars into the canner and lower the jars into the water so that they are covered by at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Place the lid on the canner. Bring the water to a gentle, steady boil. Process the jars for 10 minutes, adjusting if needed for altitude. Turn off the heat, remove the lid from the canner and let stand for 5 minutes.

  • Remove the jars from the canner and let cool without disturbing. After 24 hours, check the lids for a seal by pressing in the center. If properly sealed, the lid will not flex up and down when pressed. Store in a cool, dark place.

Source

  • http://allourway.com/ Marisa Franca Stewart

    Wish I would have had this recipe when Marsh had the 5 pound boxes of blueberries on sale. I will definitely make it next year. I miss having a garden — we don’t have enough yard space or sunshine — quite necessary for gardening. I have a fantastic canning recipe for green beans – it doesn’t need a pressure canner or any kind of canner at all. Our darling Polish neighbor gave it to me years ago. I think I’ll go to the Farmer’s Market :-)

  • http://www.kerrycooks.wordpress.com/ Kerry

    This looks absolutely delicious ! Perfect timing – blueberries are still abundant and cheap here :)

  • Jacqueline Roark

    This looks delicious! Thank you for sharing the info about the webcast. I haven’t tried canning yet, but am wanting to get started. Can you share what canning equipment you use? I look on the FAQ and amazon store pages and didn’t see anything listed.

  • Natalie Webster

    Annie! I bought this fantastic jar of jam on vacation…blueberry and CHEDDAR CHEESE. Oh my was it heavenly. I can’t find it locally. I’m thinking of making my own. But it sounds so risky cooking cheese into blueberries. Thoughts?

  • Tracy

    Any idea if it makes a difference using lavender buds or lavender flowers? Google hasn’t helped me much….I’m thinking it would be fine…? I really want to make this tomorrow! Hoping to score some blueberries at the farmers market in the morning.

  • annieseats

    I’m thinking they are probably synonymous terms. If they look and larger than what I show here, I would probably just try to mince them up a bit or possibly grind them with a spice grinder, but I don’t think it will be a big problem. I hope you enjoy it!

  • annieseats

    Oh gosh, that’s definitely out of my realm of expertise. The one thing I would suggest is that if you adapt an existing blueberry jam recipe to create this flavor at home, do not can it (as in sealed jars stored at room temperature) but instead make it a freezer jam (jars frozen until use.) Canning recipes need to be specifically developed for that purpose since improper pH balance or other factors can make the preserved food unsafe for consumption. Especially with the cheese involved, I would be more concerned about bacterial and fungal growth if not frozen. That’s my best advice. Good luck!

  • annieseats

    Hi Jacqueline,
    Good call! I didn’t have any of that stuff in my Amazon store. I just added a canning/preserving category to include it (link here: http://astore.amazon.com/annseat-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=13). So far there are only two items, mainly because I bought the hot water canner (included here) that contains the starter tools as well – mainly the funnel and jar gripper are the most important accessories I can think of. I may add a few more items eventually but honestly, beyond the canner, those few utensils and jars, there isn’t much else you need.

    Have fun canning! It only takes one or two times before you will feel much more comfortable with it.

  • Jacqueline Roark

    Thanks so much! Have you tried any pressure canning yet? Or just water bath? I would love to can my favorite tomato sauce recipe, but I know water bath wouldn’t work for that.

  • annieseats

    I have not, I just use the water bath. I don’t have a pressure cooker. You can definitely can tomato sauce in a water bath canner though. Just make sure you are using a recipe intended and developed with canning in mind to avoid spoilage or possible illness after consumption.

  • Lydia

    Ah love it! I just made a double batch of blueberry lime jam yesterday! :) The lavender is a great idea.

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne (eats well with others)

    So maybe I should add a canner to my wedding registry…

  • Hannah

    Hi Annie!
    I’ve never done any canning before…but this recipe has made me want to try! Could you tell me what the shelf life of a jam like this would be? I’d love to make some now and save to give as gifts for Christmas…but don’t know if they’ll be good that long?

  • annieseats

    Hi Hannah,
    The great thing about canning is that you are preserving the food for far longer than if you simply refrigerated or froze it. This jam is good at least a year when properly canned so it would indeed make wonderful Christmas gifts. Actually, I may take your lead and do the same!

  • Caly Chung

    Annie, I made this twice but the jam are runny both times. I followed all your instructions. But tell me why the jam didn’t set. Thanks

  • annieseats

    Did you let the jam cool fully before deciding it hadn’t set? It typically is still quite runny just after cooking. Also, did you use the low/no-sugar pectin?

  • Caly Chung

    Annie, the jam was still runny after 30 hours for the first batch. I don’t think I used the low/no sugar pectin, do you think that’s the reason?

  • annieseats

    Yes, you do need to use that type of pectin since this is a low sugar recipe. That’s likely the issue.

  • Caly Chung

    Annie, can I remake the jam with the new pectin or I have to start a whole new batch?

  • annieseats

    I honestly have no idea if that would work or not, I’ve never tried remaking with a different type of pectin. You can try it but I can’t predict the results. Good luck!

  • http://www.sofiescolorfulcakes.blogspot.com Sofia Lorda

    My grandma makes a delicious blueberry jam, you definitely should try her recipe, but the twist with the lavender sounds exciting!

  • Col Kersting

    I love everything about this recipe – usually canned jams have a ton of sugar, so I’m excited to try this one. Do you think it’d be ok without the lavender? I’m allergic to lavender oil and thought maybe I should avoid ingesting it. LOL

  • annieseats

    Totally! It will just be a nice classic blueberry jam that way. Enjoy!

  • Alyssa

    Just made this and it’s absolutely delicious! I was so excited when I saw this recipe since I have TONS of blueberries and lavender in the garden.

    Thanks for the great step by step instructions. This was my first time making jam and it turned out great. Annie, your recipes never disappoint!

  • beansnbeets

    Could I make this jam with frozen blueberries? We picked pounds and pounds of berries but froze most of them almost immediately. What, if anything, would I need to do differently? Thanks!

  • annieseats

    I think that should work just fine. Enjoy!