Blueberry Vanilla Lavender Preserves

jar of Blueberry Vanilla Lavender Preserves

Photo by Marguerite Riker

Blueberry Vanilla Lavender Preserves are a low-sugar cooked preserve made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy.

This recipe was developed and contributed by Marguerite Riker of Jammin’ with Marguerite in Holland, Michigan. She says: “One of my favorite and very popular blueberry recipes.”

Yield: 6 to 7 cups

Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Blueberry Vanilla Lavender Preserves Ingredients

10 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
½ cup water
4 teaspoons calcium water
¼ cup lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons vanilla bean paste (see below for equivalencies)
3 Tablespoons Lavender Tea (see below for directions to make)
1¼ to 1½ cups sugar
4 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder

Vanilla Bean Paste: Equivalencies are approximate and may depend on the product you are using, but generally 2 Tablespoons of vanilla bean paste would be equivalent to 2 Tablespoons of vanilla extract or 2 whole vanilla beans. If using Tahitian vanilla beans, 1 would be enough. When using whole vanilla beans, open them up and scrape the seeds into the fruit mixture. Then add the pods to the mixture. Be sure to remove the pods before jarring.

To make Lavender Tea: Steep 1½ Tablespoons of fresh organic lavender buds (or 1½  teaspoons dried lavender buds) in ½ cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Strain out lavender buds and you have Lavender Tea. You will be using only 3 Tablespoons of the tea in the recipe, so save the rest for another use, or enjoy drinking a little Lavender Tea with honey.

Blueberry Vanilla Lavender Preserves Directions

1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.

2. Measure blueberries into sauce pan with ½ cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, covered. Remove from heat and use a potato masher to smash the plump ones.

3. While blueberries are simmering, zest the lemon and put the zest aside for now.

4. Make Lavender Tea according to directions above.

5. After smashing blueberries, measure 6 cups of smashed blueberries, saving any extra for another use, and return measured quantity of blueberries to the sauce pan.

6. Add calcium water, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and the 3 Tablespoons of Lavender Tea, and mix well.

7. Measure sugar into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sugar. Set aside

8. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sugar mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, cook for exactly one minute and then remove it from the heat.

9. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

You may also like: Blue Sunshine Jam, Blueberry Marmalade, or Blueberry-Lavender Jam.

For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.

Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.

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