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Canning 101 and Blueberry Vanilla Jam

Canning 101 and Blueberry Vanilla Jam

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Canning 101 and Blueberry Vanilla Jam

For someone who doesn’t eat much jam, I sure make a lot of it. It’s safe to say I am addicted to canning, and I know once you get started you will be too. It’s the best way to preserve a little bit of summer sunshine for year-round enjoyment. I love making unique flavors of jams and jellies, adorning them with pretty labels and packaging, and then giving them as gifts during the holidays (forget wine, a jar or two of homemade jam is a MUCH better hostess gift in my mind!)

Canning might seem intimidating at first. All this talk of contamination and botulism and the like is enough to make anyone nervous. But you should know that, armed with a bit of knowledge and safe canning practices, you’ll be whipping up delicious (and safe) jams in no time. Trust me, once you start it won’t take long before your pantry is piled high with a rainbow of glass jars filled with delicious jams, jellies, and preserves.

Canning 101 and Blueberry Vanilla Jam

Canning 101: How to make basic blueberry jam

Today I’ll be going through step-by-step how to make a basic blueberry jam, lightly scented with a bit of vanilla. I like blueberries because they’re easy: the prep is almost non-existent (just a simple rinse and pick-through to make sure there aren’t any stray stems). No peeling, pitting, hulling, or chopping required. It is a great beginner jam to try your hand at canning.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Get the full recipe and step-by-step instructions on the Kitchenthusiast blog »

Canning 101 and Blueberry Vanilla Jam

Canning 101 and Blueberry Vanilla Jam

(And psst! If you’re looking for more canning inspiration, don’t forget to check out my new ebook series: That’s My Jam. The Summer edition is now available and is full of unique seasonal jam recipes and printable labels for each and every one, it’s full of recipes and resources perfect for new and experienced canners alike.)

Happy canning!


Blueberry Vanilla Jam

Simple and sweet, this blueberry vanilla jam is a perfect beginner jam to start your canning obsession.


  • 1 1/4 pounds (about 3 1/2 cups) fresh or frozen blueberries, rinsed and stems removed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pomona’s Universal Pectin
  • 1 teaspoon calcium water (this comes with every box of Pomona’s pectin)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped (or use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract)


  1. Fill a large stock pot or canning pot 2/3 full with water; place a rack of some sort in the bottom and place over medium-high heat. Wash/sterilize 5 4oz mason jars (or equivalent) and submerge in water bath as it heats. The pot should be just about boiling by the time the jam is ready to go.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together sugar and pectin until evenly incorporated.
  3. Mash the ripe berries with a potato masher until few if any whole berries remain. You should have approximately 2 cups of mashed fruit.
  4. Get the full recipe on the Kitchenthusiast blog »
All images and text © Lindsay Landis /

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16 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. I’ve done vanilla in pear, but blueberry sounds wonderful.  It’s been so hot that I’ve gotten behind on my jam making:-(

  2. Blueberry vanilla sounds so good!  Can’t wait to try this!  Thanks for sharing :) 

  3. Can this delicious-sounding jam be frozen instead of canned? I sure hope so!

  4. Vanilla and blueberry sounds amazing.

  5. Back in the day when I used to pick my own fruit and make jam I made an outstanding peach almond jam that also had slivered almonds in it and it was spoon worthy! Best ever and made with the best peaches ever which are from SC of course!

  6. That’s it… I’m doing this.  Tonight.  I have so many blueberries and I now have an awesome way to use them up.  Thanks, and wish me luck!

  7. Okay, just came back to say I DID IT!  I finally made jam, and it’s all thanks to you!  Thank you for making the process so much less intimidating- I’ve had mason jars sitting in my garage for an embarrassingly long time because the thought of canning both terrified and intrigued me.  This came out SO GOOD that I’m ready to try allllll of your recipes.  

  8. I’ve tried vanilla with other fruits in jam before but not with blueberry yet, it sounds delicious!

  9. Blueberry jam woww.. My children will surely like it with bread in their breakfast. I have tried it but seriously it is little bit hard, can u suggest me some tips.

  10. I really had no idea that it was just a little hot water that helps seal the jam in the jar. It seems straight forward, but I am hopeless with anything that has to do with cooking. Just ask my kids. They hate eating my food. I’ll have to look around for some good homemade jam.

  11. Blueberry jam, delicious in making… Thanks a lot for it’s introduction to the masses. I have jotted down all the recipe. Hopefully will try sometime…Thanks once again Lindsay.

  12. I’m canning for the first time next weekend, got a great book called Blue Ribbon Preserves to guide me, and now this great illustrated guide. Can’t wait! And I too am freezing most veggies.

  13. I am really like the make a basic blueberry jam, lightly scented with a bit of vanilla. So it is yummy with sandwich every morning before going to the work.

  14. Sounds amazing! Blueberry vanilla sounds so good, my sweetie is really like it and she alway use with bread on the morning. Thanks your post sharing.

  15. You saved our breakfast time coz my kids just love this blueberry jam and when I serve them they always finish there breakfast. can u suggest me some tips what else I can serve them with this yummy blueberry jam.

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