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Culinary Class: Jam On

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Making the Most of Summer’s Fruit

TLP's Blueberry Vanilla Jam

Though canning originated from necessity, as a means of preservation, the practice is today the next logical step for any successful gardener or eager farmers market shopper. After all, few things are more (culinarily) appealing than capturing produce at its peak. And perhaps nothing is more appealing than succulently in-season strawberries, peaches, or blueberries.

A few tips for canning: use jars with metal lids and rims, as checking for a proper seal will be much easier. Jars often make a popping sound once they are removed from the boiling water and will have a slight indention in the middle of the lid. If your lids come off, or do not have the indention, then you do not have a proper seal and the jars must be reprocessed. Metal rims are re-usable, but new caps are necessary each time. Also, place a trivet or round cake rack on the bottom of the pot to keep jars from rattling around during processing. Once jars are removed from the boiling water, do not place them directly onto a stone surface or they could crack. Instead, place them on a cutting board, towel, or other heat-protected surface. Home canned food keeps for up to 1 year, but if you spot mold on anything in an unopened jar, consider it spoiled. Altitude affects cooking times too; the times suggested in this recipe reflect sea-level altitudes, so simply adjust for your altitude with the table provided.

Now let’s jam.

TLP’S BLUEBERRY VANILLA JAM

6 cups blueberries

3 1/2 cups sugar

1 vanilla bean

1/2 teaspoon butter

4 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Adjustments for increased altitude
Increase Processing Time is Required for Higher Altitudes

1,001-3,000 feet
+5 minutes

3,001-6,000 feet
+10 minutes

6,001-8,000 feet
+15 minutes

8,001-10,000 feet
+20 minutes