Huge thanks to Lindsay Zaraska, a Manning Canning facebook fan for sharing her lovely story and even lovelier sounding recipe for Lemon Honey Vanilla Bean Jam.
LEMON HONEY VANILLA BEAN JAM - GUEST POST - Lindsay Zaraska, Edmonton, AB
I've been on a total lemon and vanilla kick lately. Probably because it reminds me of spring, and here in Edmonton, it feels like spring is never going to arrive, so I've been trying to replicate it through food. So far, I've made pavlovas with lemon curd, berries and vanilla bean whipped cream as well as lemon and vanilla bean trifle.
I was on holidays earlier this March in Phoenix, AZ staying at my parents house. They had a fridge full of lemons off their friends tree and I couldn't get enough of them! They're not like the ones you buy in the store, and they're not like Meyer lemons either. They're super sweet and mild. You could eat the fruit like an orange.
Once I got home, I found out that most of the time, you can take lemons across the border. From what I gather, it's pretty much at the discretion of the border crossing agent. So I tasked my mother with bringing lemons home, and it worked!
I sweetened this batch of lemon vanilla bean jam with honey. I used a thick, creamed style raw honey from a friends uncle who has bees in Saskatchewan. I buy it by the gallon, so I had plenty on hand for this project.
I have 6 of the lovely lemons left, so I think I will make a second batch, perhaps adding some pomegranate juice as well, for a nice pink colour.
I based the jam off of this recipe.
Lemon Honey Vanilla Bean Jam
1 cup of lemon juice, strained of any pulp (about 6 lemons worth, measured after straining)
3 cups of honey
2 vanilla beans, split down the center
zest of half a lemon
1 pouch of liquid pectin (I used Certo)
In a large pot, combine the first 4 ingredients and over medium heat, bring them to a hard boil stirring constantly for two minutes. It really bubbles up and expands, so please use a big pot! Add in the full pouch of liquid pectin and stir thoroughly to combine. Return the mixture to a full boil and boil for one minute. Turn off the heat and skim off any foam. Ladle into previously sterilized jars leaving 1/4" headspace and process for 10 mins.
I think it worked perfectly! It's got a nice jelly consistency, albeit a little on the loose side, but that's how I like it.
I'm sure the jam will taste just as good with conventional lemons, it will probably just have a little more zing and tartness.