For Your Pantry: Making Blueberry Vanilla Jam | Janet Hesselberth | Skillshare

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For Your Pantry: Making Blueberry Vanilla Jam

teacher avatar Janet Hesselberth, Traditional Skills from the Kitchen and Garden

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Food Safety

    • 3. Equipment & Ingredients

    • 4. Making the Jam

    • 5. Processing the Jam

    • 6. Conclusion and Project

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About This Class

Learn how satisfying and easy it is to make your own unique jams for your family or to give as gifts. I answer these questions and more:

  • What is the equipment you need, and what are the basic jam-making steps?
  • When do you need to follow a recipe, and when can you deviate?
  • How do you¬†process jam so you can store¬†it in the pantry until you are ready to use it?
  • How do you do all this safely?

Follow me at Cottage Sage on Youtube for weekly videos.

Here is the link to my video on making Vanilla Extract.

Meet Your Teacher

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Janet Hesselberth

Traditional Skills from the Kitchen and Garden


I was raised by a Chemical Engineer and an Artist, an interesting dichotomy that led to a wonderful variety of skills in the household. My childhood was filled with projects such as pickling, making yoghurt, home canning, and gardening as well as a variety of crafts. My home is filled with hand-made items, and my gardens are overflowing with herbs, flowers and vegetables. I want to share that enjoyment and knowledge with you.


Be sure to follow Cottage Sage (that's me!) on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube. I post weekly videos to Youtube. Click the icons at the bottom of the left column on this page to visit, and be sure to Subscribe.

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1. Introduction: - Hi , folks, this is Janet Hesselberg. And today I would like to show you how to make blueberry, vanilla jam, something a little special. So we're going to go through a lot of different information. But this is super easy, and I know you can do it first. I'm going to talk a little bit about food safety, very important. Then we're going to look at the equipment that I have to use and the different ingredients . Next, we'll make the jam, and then we will process it in a hot water bath canner so that it is shell safe for storage . So let's get started. 2. Food Safety: I'd like to give you just a little general information before we get started making things , and the first thing I want to start with is some of my more favorite recipe books. It's important, at least when you're starting to do home canning toe. Actually follow a recipe, because the acidity in the proper steps and preparation are all very important to get the jars to seal properly. So the ones on my bookshelf are preserving summer's bounty and the bowl blue book of preserving. But my absolute favorite And you can tell this is the complete died to home canning and preservation you could tell because it has lots of sticky notes stuck in the top for all my favorite recipes, and I'll put the titles and publication information into the class notes so you can find that. But, um, so when when you're preparing the recipes like I said, you don't just want a wing it In the beginning, the food acidity is very important in canning. If the foods that you're canning are not of inappropriate acidity, um, you can give yourself botulism, and that's really inconvenient. So we want to be careful with that. Basically There are two methods of canning. One is a hot water bath and one is a using a pressure canner. If the food is acidic enough, you can use a more simple hot water bath canning. If it's not acidic enough, you need to use a pressure canner. And that's, ah, larger, more expensive piece of equipment. So, you know, my recommendation is to start out very nice and simple with the more acidic things. So any kind of fruit, um, pickles and tomatoes were considered just acidic enough, although a lot of those recipes you will find they want you to add a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar to the recipe to bring the acidity in a bit more so as faras as you start to learn and grow in your ability, you can tweak some recipes a little bit, but say tweak the seasoning, not things that that affect the acidity or the processing time. Okay, um, something else I want to show you is, um I'm gonna talk about jars for a moment, and so this is a This is actually a point and 1/2 jar. It looks like a court, but you can get a variety of sizes ranging from a couple the way up to 1/2 gallon, and the important thing is that you should use jars that are designed for canning. Please don't go out and use a cleaned out mayonnaise jar or something from another commercial product. Use real life canning jars. They are tempered. They're much stronger. The glass walls are a little bit thicker, so you're much less likely to break the jars in the canter. Very inconvenient. You don't want to do that. So spring for the rial jars. Some of my jars came from my grandmother's house. They last forever. If you take proper care of them, you can pass them down to your Children. So when you are getting ready to can and you've decided what size jars you want, um, it's problem. It's important to prepare the jars properly and you'll you'll hear even me say you need to sterilize and they need to be cleaned. Everybody will tell you, of course, they need to be clean, so the first thing you want to do is either hand wash or run the jars through the dishwasher. If you're using a dishwasher, you can use a sanitized cycle. And, um, when you are filling the jars, you want to put hot food into hot jars. But hot isn't necessarily sterile, so the question comes up. Do you need to sterilise the jars? And the answer is, surprisingly, not as often as you would think. The National Center for Home Food Preservation says that you need to sterilise the jars if you're going to process in a hot water bath for less than 10 minutes. So that means if you're processing in a hot water bath more than 10 minutes, or if you're using a pressure canner, you don't need to sterilize. And when I think about it, that's almost everything that I make. With the exception of maybe a few recipes for pickles or jellies, everything gets processed at least 10 minutes, so it is sufficient to wash your jars and then keep them warm either in the closed dishwasher. Or you can do what I do, and that's put them into a warm of. And I set my oven to about 225 just to keep the jars hot enough so that they're not shocked when I put hot foods in them. So on a canning jar, um, you'll hear people talk about head space, and that's how. How high do you want to fill the food product in the jar? And that's measured? You'll see. They'll say, Oh, give 1/2 inch headspace And so that's your measuring from the top edge of the jar down 1/2 an inch, and the food should come up no further than that. And that's to allow for the food to expand and not expand so much. It comes out the gap between the lid and the jar. Um, if the food expands too much and tries to push past the lid, it will ruin your seal and venue. Then you'll have to eat it promptly or store in the refrigerator. So the whole objective here, of course, is to get a nice, tight seal. Um, what else do I want to talk about? OK, raw pack and hot pack. So there. There are also two basic methods besides using hot water bath and using pressure canners there to basic methods of loading food into the jar. And one is raw pack and when it's hot pack and as you might guess the raw pack involves less cooking, so in raw pack you would simply trim your vegetables, not cook them beforehand, placed them directly into the jar, and then you typically put like a hot brine or hot broth over them and then seal in process . Um, that could be really handy for fruits that are more delicate, for example, or things that just don't require a lot of cooking. Obviously, hot pack. You cook the vegetables first, put them in the jar and then process again. You may need to add a hot brian or broth or syrup in the case of fruits. And for those, um, I guess the other thing I find about hot pack is it. It tends to condense the flesh of the fruit or vegetable a little bit more, so you're less likely to get jars where everything floats to the top and you have a whole bunch of syrup at the bottom and a little bit of fruit at the top. That's less likely to happen with a hot pack. Not to say you can't manage, but less likely to happen. Sometimes jars don't seal. It happens sometimes, just a little bit of food got into the seal. Or sometimes there was a small nick on the rim of the jar that you didn't see. Sometimes you don't have seals. Take and put the food in the refrigerator. Plan on using it soon. No worries. Um, however, if six months down the road, you go to the pantry and you pull out that lovely apple sauce that you made or whatever it was, and it looks funny. Smells funny. The seals gone. Just throw it out, okay, Don't don't even risk it. If there's any kind of question, it's just not worth it again. Botulism will ruin your day. So, really, though home canning is is quite fun and easy. And although these things do happen, it's it's really unusual anymore, so you can have a very successful caning experience. 3. Equipment & Ingredients: So now let's talk about the equipment and the ingredients that I have to work with, and I'll just kind of sweep from one side to the other. I have a small pot with a little water and some flat limbs, and those will be used to seal the jars to get those out. I have just regular tongs. They do make magnetic lid pullers, but I've never been very good with those. Um, I have a flat lids that, um, we'll put in the pot and warm them up so they'll seal nicely. I have six cups of blueberries. I have my rings that will seal the flat lives. Um, my jar funnel with a wider opening so that we can load the jars. I have homemade vanilla extract, and I bet you're thinking I don't have that. Don't worry. On my YouTube channel, I have instructions for you. Um, I have some spoons and spatulas so that I have the ability to stir and scrape. I have a little scoop so that I can pull the Jan out of the pot and get that into the jars . I have my sure jell pectin. It's a powdered pectin. I happen to like this when there are other brands have my instructions because we actually have to follow a recipe. I have a trip it for placing the jam on. When we pull it out of the heat. I have a bowl of pre measured sugar and over on my burners I have two pots, one for the jam and one with hot water in it so that we can hot water bath can. Okay, lets go. 4. Making the Jam: All right, We're gonna make the jam. So the first step is that we need four cups of crushed or chopped Berries. Who chops Berries? This is so not happening. But I will crush them. You also want to pick out any leaves or stems that you have in the Berries. We were pretty good when we jarred these up. So all I'm gonna do is just mash them a bit right in the jar, and I'm gonna put those into the pot. It's You do want to measure fairly precisely on this. All right, let me light up my stove, and then we'll get those on the heat. All right? So I could just stir those around. I need to bring them up to, um, a good hard boil. And I'm also going to add in my powdered pectin at this point again, I am actually following a recipe. Um, I don't like following recipes that sometimes you need to if you are not fairly precise with your measurements, Um, your jelly may end up as syrup, or it may end up as a rubber eraser. I have done both, So I do try to follow the recipe. Okay. So now we have a full rolling boil. And even though I'm stirring, it's not stopping boiling. So at this point way, want to dump in the sugar and bring it back to a boil? So I brought the blueberry jam back up to a rolling boil, and now I am going to set a timer for one minute. Okay, Still stirring. So I don't scorch the bottom. And once my one minute is up and move this out of way, I'm gonna move this pot over to this trip to get it off the heat. Okay, Now, here's the part that makes special. I'm gonna take a little bit of my homemade vanilla extract and add that in You notice how precisely I'm measuring, But that is not going to affect the pH. So we'll just get that stirred in. And then we went to jar up and get this stuff in my hot water bath. 5. Processing the Jam: All right. So I had my assistant bring out three hot jars from the oven, and I'm just going to scoop. And still I want to fill these jars about, um, up to about 1/2 an inch from the top. You'll hear that called headspace. Sometimes that's about right now. The other thing I need to dio is because I think I dripped a little bit. I want to make sure the top edge of the jar is very clean before I put the hot little on it . Even if you don't think you see a drip, do it anyway, because if you miss it, you jar won't seal. And that means you have to eat it right away. That is there. All right, so the ring is is cool enough for me to handle the jar isn't, but I can tighten it up just like that. When I'm tightening these rings, I'm I'm tightening them firmly, but not not trying to put all my strength into it. And then take my jar tongs and get that over in the canner. Okay? Last step. We're going to take the jars out and we're gonna listen for them to seal and I'm just gonna put him right here. As each jar seals, we're going to hear a sharp pop sound from the lid as it draws down a little bit. So these should go pretty fast. We'll probably hear them. Right here is as I'm getting the jars out. Did you hear it? So we've ended up with six jars, which is what the recipe said we would get. Plus, we have 1/2 a jar. Says that the camera crew can have some breakfast. There you have it. 6. Conclusion and Project: So we're done. We've made blueberry vanilla jam. We talked about the ingredients in and the equipment really simple ingredients. It's just the fresh blueberries, sugar, pectin and, of course, the homemade vanilla extract. We crush the Berries, made the jam in the pot and then actually processed it in hot water bath canner so that thes jars will be stable on the shelf for a year if nobody eats the first. I really love doing this kind of thing, and I hope that you will love doing this kind of thing. You can get those special things that you'll never find in a grocery store shelf. They make lovely presence. It's really nice enjoying your own work, especially when it's so easy. You can just impress people with how wonderful the product is. And yet, you know, it was very easy. So Project Class project. You know, I'd like you to do one. I'm gonna give you a choice of 21 is, of course, to make your own batch of jam, but I know that takes a little bit of time, a little bit of proper preparation, so the other choice is share the recipe that you want to use. Maybe you have a recipe that, you know your grandmother fixed. I know my mother used to laugh about making jams with fruit and wine, so that might be something special to explore. And I am out on social media. You can find me on Facebook and YouTube and Instagram look for cottage sage. So we'll put the links down below in the class description for you. And I look forward to seeing you there. Thanks. Bye bye.