Entry No. 19

Apricot Vanilla-Lavender Jam with Honey

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My fresh, still-warm jam on English Muffins with cream cheese.

I was at the food store the other day and saw Apricots had arrived in the produce section.  Apricot Jam is really my thing – got a bunch of Strawberry lovers in my home.  Strawberry Jam is awesome.  Strawberry-anything is awesome.  Apricot Jam however, has a special place in my heart.  So, I chose the ripest Apricots, about a dozen of them, and went home and made this jam.  Our house smelled wonderfully indescribable with this simmering on the stove – it’s got something special. Or, it’s just me and my thing with Apricot Jam.

Now, I use a mix of granulated sugar and honey in this recipe with low-sugar pectin.  I’ve concluded Americans, and I can write this because I am one, like their jam incredibly sweet.  In our home, we like it just sweet enough to take the bite out of tart, fresh fruit.  Sugar just isn’t the star for me.  Also, this jam is an easy one because the Apricots are pitted and crushed but, no need to peel them.  Lavender, the extra step, can be tied in cheesecloth, slipped in a teabag or infuser and left to float in the jam.  You know, while it all cooks.  The recipe doesn’t scream Lavender either – just gives it a little something extra.  Again, I do small batch canning and this recipe will not make a lot.  {8  4oz jars or 4  1/2 pints at most} So, enjoy this one.  It’s my favorite.

Apricot Vanilla-Lavender Jam with Honey

2lbs of Fresh Apricots ~ About a Dozen {pitted, crushed/I use a mini-chopper}

1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar {2 cups if you like it on the sweet side}

1/4 Cup Honey

3-4 Vanilla Bean Insides {split them open and scrape the insides/seeds out}

1 Tsp Dried Culinary Lavender Buds {in an infuser}

1 1/2 Tbsp Low-Sugar, Powdered Pectin {I use the Ball brand}

1/4 Cup Bottled Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp Butter

Bring apricots, lemon juice, honey, lavender {float in mixture}, pectin and butter to a full boil that can’t be stirred down.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Return to a full boil and boil one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Let rest for five minutes.  Remove foam and lavender infuser.  Fill clean, hot jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Process 10 minutes in waterbath canner.

Entry No. 17

Strawberry Vanilla-Basil Jam

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We love Strawberry Jam in our home.  It’s great on toast or English Muffins with cream cheese. This year, I tried adding some fresh Basil to the usual recipe and it was a great idea.  The jam is delicious.  The Basil is understated and just gives it a little something.

IMG_8817I do small batch canning, just a few jars here and there so, this recipe does not make a lot. Often, I use the 4oz jar size from Ball, sometimes the half-pint jar and seldom a pint-size jar.  This works well in my house with two adults, a five-year old and a toddler.  Things don’t go bad in the fridge before we get to eat them.  If you try the 4oz jars, just stick with the half-pint processing time of ten minutes for Strawberry Jam.  When you go from an 8oz to 4oz jar, it’s not so much about size for the time but killing bacteria.  I noticed a lot of people asked about processing time for 4oz jars on the Ball site so, I figured I’d mention it with my tiny jars in the photos.  Here’s a link full of canning information if you’re a newbie.

Strawberry Vanilla-Basil Jam

2lbs of Fresh Strawberries {tops cut off, remainder crushed/I use a mini-chopper}

1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar {2 cups if you like it on the sweet side}

3-4 Vanilla Bean Insides {split them open and scrape the insides/seeds out}

3 Large, Fresh Basil Leaves

1 1/2 Tbsp Low-Sugar, Powdered Pectin {I use the Ball brand}

1/4 Cup Bottled Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp Butter

Bring strawberries, lemon juice, pectin and butter to a full boil that can’t be stirred down.  Add sugar, vanilla and basil.  Return to a full boil and boil one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Let rest for five minutes.  Remove foam and basil leaves.  Fill clean, hot jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Process 10 minutes in waterbath canner.

“Sometimes, we just have to start over.  Often, we must begin – again.  Every now-and-then we stretch a little further, push a little harder, delve a little deeper. It’s what makes us, better.  When we’re better we’re stronger, though perhaps exhausted.  When we’re better we smile wider, sigh lighter and laugh heartier.  When we’re better, we say ‘hello’ to the unexpected.  When we greet the unexpected, we encounter wonder.  Hello, Better.”
{2 Corinthians 3:18}     
D. G. D.
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Custom Labels from my Etsy shop, the Heart of Wonder. {to visit click image}