Blueberry jam gets boozy with this blueberry bourbon jam recipe. Like my bourbon blueberry BBQ sauce, this combination is absolutely divine.
Capture the flavor of your perfectly ripe, juicy blueberries in a delicious jam that you can enjoy long after the summer season.
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Blueberry jam with vanilla and bourbon
Making jam is a great way to preserve (see what I did there?) the flavors of summer. Once you become comfortable making your own jam, you can start to get a bit more creative with flavor combinations.
Combine fruits, flavors, spices, etc into unique and interesting flavors. This is where it really starts to get good.
I keep a stash of used vanilla bean pods (don’t throw them away!) that I’ve scraped clean. They still have plenty of flavor left in them and they are the perfect addition to jam.
Throw in a hefty shot of bourbon and now our jam has quite a bit of personality.
How to make blueberry bourbon jam
Making jam isn’t really difficult, but it does take practice (like anything else), to get the “feel” of it.
After you have a few batches of jam under your belt, you’ll start to notice how the jam looks and feels when it’s ready and also when it’s not.
Most important: Have everything measured out and ready ahead of time. Walking away from a boiling pot of jam in search of a utensil is a fast way to ruin all of your hard work and time.
The first step is crushing the blueberries. Put them in a very large bowl and use a potato masher to break them up.
I’ll be honest, I usually do it in the pot because I’m lazy and I don’t want to wash another bowl. Then add the pectin and stir it up. Add in your vanilla bean pods, bourbon and lemon juice.
Bring it to a boil, dump in all of the sugar and bring it back up to a boil for a minute. After one minute (literally – 60 seconds), take it off the heat. Your jam is ready to put into the jars.
What if my jam doesn’t set?
Don’t panic. Jam can take up to two weeks to set properly. It doesn’t usually take that long, but I have had a batch take 6 days before it really set properly.
That being said, I’ve also had a batch that didn’t set at all. Call it compote and be done with it. Or, you can boil it down a bit more and store it in the fridge to eat right away.
Use it on pancakes, swirled into ice cream or muffin batter. It’s not a total loss, it still tastes delicious.
More jam recipes
Once you start this adventure in jam making, you won’t look back and you’ll be mildly irritated at the thought of having to purchase jam.
Homemade jam tastes so much better than anything you’ll find in the aisles of the grocery store.
- Peach pepper jam
- Black and blueberry freezer jam
- Strawberry key lime jam
- Easy loquat jam
- Loquat cardamom jam
Now that I’ve been making jam for awhile and feel more confident in my abilities, I’ve started using Weck jars like the ones in the photos.
When I first started making jam, I was terrified of using these jars. I thought that I would somehow mess up the sealing process. Spoiler alert – it’s no different from the other jars.
If you have ever wanted to try these jars, but were not sure about them, they are great and also, so pretty.
Tools needed to make blueberry bourbon jam
You’ll need the following to make this blueberry bourbon jam recipe. Some of it is canning specific, but most of it is not and you probably have most of it already.
- half pint jars
- new lids and rings (reused lids increase the chances of a bad seal)
- long handled wooden spoon or non-reactive spoon
- a large stock pot with rack
- canning tongs (jar lifter)
- canning funnel
- potato masher
- oven mitts
- non-reactive ladle
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- 10 cups fresh blueberries, stems removed, washed and picked over (about 3 1/2 lbs) and crushed
- 1/2 cup powdered pectin (not liquid)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 vanilla bean pods
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 6 1/2 cups sugar
- 8 half pint jars, lids and bands + an extra jar or two just in case with lids and bands
- In a water bath canning pot with a rack, sterilize canning jars by bringing them up to a simmer in the water. In a small pot, sterilize lids and rings by bringing those up to a simmer as well. (you can add everything to one pot, but you'll need to go fishing for the lids and rings)
- In a 12 quart pot, add crushed blueberries and pectin. Stir to combine.
- Add lemon juice, vanilla beans and bourbon. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently.
- Remove jars, lids and rings from water, set aside.
- Once blueberry mixture is boiling, add in sugar all at once and bring jam mixture back up to a full rolling boil, while stirring constantly. (Meaning, you can't stir the bubbles down). Boil hard for one minute.
- Remove jam from heat and ladle into warm sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" space.
- Wipe the rims with a damp paper towel to make sure they are clean.
- Top jars with lids and screw on bands to fingertip tight. (Do not over tighten)
- Carefully lower into water bath canner and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Set jars on the counter and wait for the lovely "ping" to let you know they have sealed.
Boiling jam is HOT and also hurts like crazy if it gets on your skin. Wear oven mitts while stirring to protect your hands from burns.
Any jars that haven't sealed properly can be stored in the fridge to eat right away.
Store sealed jars without bands in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
If you are using frozen blueberries, make sure to drain them well before starting. The excess liquid will take forever to boil off.
Serving Size:2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 49Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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