Preserving the season. Something I love to do. Something I’m working toward is having most of my family’s groceries come from our own yard. In the mean time I try to buy from local farms and learn about the local plants I can forage.
The lavender in this recipe is from my own English lavender plants which I purchased from a local lavender farm and apiary and planted a few years ago but you could purchase culinary lavender here if you prefer the online route.
It’s no coincidence that blueberries ripen at the same time lavender is ready to be picked. The flavor combination is bliss! An easy guideline for pairing flavors together is knowing when they ripen and also the climate or region in which it’s grown. Of course you can try experimenting with infusion cuisine which is the marrying of traditional cuisines.
I don’t currently have blueberry bushes but since I wanted to make a jelly and not a jam I bought pure blueberry juice made from wild blueberries now, I could’ve made my own juice with foraged berries but why? when there is this wonderful product on the market? Sometimes convenience is good. I honestly think it’s worth the price considering how long it takes to pick the berries and then how many berries you need to make juice.
The nice thing about preserving your own food is knowing exactly what is going into the jars. You can sweeten with sugar, honey, and/or just fruit with the appropriate pectin. It’s best to follow a tried and true method to canning if you’ve never canned before. If you’re interested in learning to can this book is a minimal expense to help get you started. Another nice aspect to canning your own is if you also grow your own or can forage for it the expense cost is small. It also makes nice personal gifts for friends and family. Who doesn’t cherish Mama’s special preserves? I know I do! Even though I make my own I still love getting my Mom’s creations.
Equipment you will need:
- 4 3/4 cups water
- 1/2 cup lavender buds
- 1 cup blueberry juice
- 6 cups sugar
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 2 pouches liquid pectin
- Bring the water to the boil in a pot, turn off heat and add lavender buds and allow to steep for 20 minutes then strain.
- Prepare canner and jars: Place 6 jars on the rack in the canner and heat to a simmer (180F/ 82C) keep jars hot until ready to use.
- Place snap lids in hot water until ready to use.
- Add blueberry juice and sugar, let come to a rolling boil. (a boil that can’t be stirred down)
- Add lemon juice and remove from heat.
- Add liquid pectin and stir for 1 minute
- Remove jars and fill with jelly to within 1/4″ (0.5 cm) from top rim.
- Using a non-metallic utensil, remove air bubbles
- Wipe jar rim to remove any stickiness and place snap lid on top.
- Apply screw band and tighten until resistance is met (fingertip tight)
- Place jars on rack in canner
- Cover canner and bring to a boil
- At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m) process for 10 minutes (for higher altitudes process longer)
- Remove from canner without tilting and cool upright undisturbed for at least 24 hours. Do not re-tighten screw bands.
- As the jars cool you may hear popping as the lids are sucked in forming a vacuum seal. This is a good thing! Check that your jar lids are curved downward or when pressed in the middle they do not pop up.
- It’s a good idea to label it with the date! Then store in a cool dark place.
- Enjoy, or spread the love!
I made lemon scones with wild blueberries to spread this jelly on: