Balsamic-Cinnamon Blueberry Jam

I spent a Friday refreezing bulk blueberries (purchased in March from Bithell Farms).     Fourteen pounds of Oregon blueberries had been languishing in the freezer in the original big plastic bag they had been delivered in.    (I am such a slob, I didn’t even reseal the bag after breaking into the bounty after they were delivered.   It is a wonder I didn’t have blueberries spilling everywhere in the freezer.)

So, while I was resealing berries into smaller portioned bags, I decided to make some blueberry jam.   I hadn’t ever attempted this before.    I can’t say that anymore and these two jams are on the “must make” list every spring from now on.

Both jam recipes were inspired by Rachel Saunders and her Blue Chair Jam Cookbook.   (For other recipes from her  book, click here and here and here. )    I love all of her flavor combinations.

Balsamic-Cinnamon Blueberry Jam
Based on “East Coast Blueberry Jam” by Rachel Saunders

2 1/2 lbs. blueberries (I used frozen.)
1 lb. 14 oz. sugar
5 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. balsamic vinegar
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
1/4 t. pure vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a large kettle.   Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly.   When the mixture gets “juicy,” stop stirring and let it cook 1-2 minutes.    Then, turn heat higher and stir well and frequently.    After mixture reaches a boil, cook for 10-20 minutes, stirring often, until jammy.

After it reaches the desired consistency (remember it will set up a bit more in the jars), remove cinnamon stick and take off heat.   If needed, skim off foam.

Pour into sterilized jars, place on lids and tighten rings.    Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.    Carefully remove from water and let sit undisturbed while you listen for pings of the jars sealing.

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Yields:   6-7 half-pint jars.

The addition of the balsamic is attributed to Rachel.   She states in her book that “This is a subtle jam in the tradition of blueberry jams of the past, which often contained vinegar in place of lemon juice.”     I can’t really tell you how delicious this jam is!

I also made Rachel’s Blueberry Jam with Mint and used chocolate mint.     If you want that recipe, and trust me–you do, you will need to buy her book.    It is so aromatic and unique (as are most of her combinations).

Please note that these jams do not use pectin.    So, be prepared.  Sometimes you end up with blueberry syrup.   Hey, that is just fine and dandy, too!


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