I like lemons and I love vanilla. As I was looming through early recipes and finding new websites with options, I came across a recipe for a jam with lemon and vanilla. It sounded totally different and since I was still in a cinnamon “frame of mind” I also thought adding some cinnamon to this would only make it taste better. My challenges: having all of the ingredients in my kitchen at the same time. Sugar was easy. Finding the right kind of lemons, also relatively easy to find. The vanilla bean– my biggest challenge. Vanilla beans are known to be expensive, but that’s why it’s important to pick them up if you see them at a good price. I made the mistake of waiting. In short, I looked in three grocery stores, and ultimately made the return trip back to Fairway Markets in Paramus where two beans cost $2.99 rather than the $13.67 at ShopRite. So, once again, I learned that my mother was right. When you see something you need to buy, and it’s available, and you love it, buy three. On my return trip to Fairway Markets I bought two jars of the vanilla beans. Leaves lots of room for more vanilla jelly experimenting.
The original recipe comes from the Canning Across America website, courtesy of Tessa Kiros, author of Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes.
Lemon Vanilla Jam with Cinnamon
(adapted from Tessa Kiros)
6 organic lemons (thinner skin is better)
6 cups superfine sugar
1 vanilla bean cut in half lengthwise
2 cinnamon sticks (if you use the Ceylon kind I have, place them in a spice bag first)
- Prepare, canner, jars, and lids. (If you are new to canning, click on the link to the left to review canning basics)
- Wash the lemons well. Cut the ends off and then slice in rounds. Remove seeds and then slice lemons into quarters. (In the finished jam, you will be eating the whole lemon so going organic is best)
- Place lemons in a large sauce pan and add 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft, about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Add the sugar, vanilla bean and cinnamon. Cook uncovered for another hour until thick and not drippy. (I tested some on a spoon and once it started to cool, it was very jelly like)
- Pour jelly into jars, wipe jars clean. Add lids and bands.
- Process in your hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Notes from my experience:
The finished jelly is delicious. Even with 6 cups of sugar, the tartness of the lemons shows through.
It is a great compliment to whole wheat buttermilk biscuits. The sweet earthy flavor of the biscuits offered a delicious contrast to the slight tartnes of the jam.
I think it would pair well with a sweet soft cheese like brie so I’ll have to try that next.
You can follow all of my cooking adventures (and mishaps) on Twitter:@TracyCooksIt.