Blueberry & Lavender Jam with sweet Honey
by Debbie Wolfe of the Prudent Garden
I love blueberry jam. It’s by far the most popular preserve consumed in my home. I mix blueberries with apples and peaches in jams as well. One of my favorite things to do is pair herbs with fruit to help accentuate the fruit’s flavor. Last year, I discovered that lavender, of all things, tastes lovely with blueberries.
I know that most people do not associate lavender with food. It’s one of those herbs heavily used in aromatherapy and cosmetics. However, when used with the right foods and in the right amount, it imparts a light floral, yet nutty flavor to dishes. I also used honey as the sweetener in this jam. Honey pairs well with lavender as well as blueberries. You may substitute natural cane sugar for the honey if you prefer.
Blueberry & Lavender Jam recipe
Makes 3 half pints
- 1 quart fresh or frozen blueberries (1½ pounds/680g)
- 8 oz/227g honey
- ½ lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lavender buds (preferably organic)
Step 1: Prepare the lavender
Grind the lavender buds in a mortar and pestle. Set aside. If you are planning to process the jam to make them shelf stable, go ahead and sterilize 3 half pint canning jars (with rings and lids) and prepare a water bath canner.
Step 2: Cook the berries
Put the small glass bowls in the freezer. Add the blueberries, honey, lemon juice and zest in a large, wide skillet. I find that using a wide skillet for small batch jams speeds up the cooking time.
As the blueberries cook down, mash them with the back of a large spoon. This step is optional; it depends on how chunky you prefer your jams.
Step 3: Bring the jam to the Setting Point
As the jam cooks, it will start to foam. Scrape the form off as it continues to cook. The foam doesn’t affect the integrity of the jam, but it does make the jam less attractive. Don’t throw it out—it’s edible!
Place the foam in a cup and use it on top of ice cream once it cools. It makes a delicious special treat. Jam sets at around 105c (220F). If you do not have a candy thermometer, you can use the “freezer test” to see if you jam has set.
Step 4: Test the Setting Point
As your jam starts to thicken, remove one of the ceramic or glass bowls from the freezer and place a spoonful of jam on it. Put it back into the freezer for two or three minutes . Pull the dish out of the freezer and gently nudge the jam with the tip of your finger. If it wrinkles a bit when pushed, it is done. If not, continue cooking the jam a few minutes more and test again. While you are testing, remove the jam from the heat so you don’t accidentally overcook it.
Step 5: Process the jars of jam in a Water Bath
Once the jam has set, turn off the heat, add the lavender and mix. Pour the jam into three half pint jars, add rings and lids and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. If you are not planning to process the jars, let them cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.
Enjoy your jam on toast, muffins, scones, vanilla ice cream or by the spoonful. Make a few extra jars to give as gifts.
Debbie Wolfe is a mom of two rambunctious boys, wife, and work-at-home mom from Georgia. In her free time she is in the garden or hidden away reading. As interests, Debbie is an obsessive crafter, home chef, and gardener. She is a freelance writer, blogger, and is a co-author and photographer behind the garden blog, The Prudent Garden, a collection of tips, crafts, and articles that highlight home gardening.
Debbie has also written a great post on Canning and Preserving Food for Beginners which includes a lot of helpful tips.