Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cantaloupe-Vanilla Bean Jam

I had picked up two cantaloupes and they were sitting in the fruit basket. Riley asked me, "Mommy, can you make jam out of cantaloupes." I don't know. I don't see why not. So, I set out to give it a try. And Riley was more than happy to use his new trumpet juicer to help me with the lemon juice part.

2 ripe cantaloupes, deseeded, skinned, and cubed
1 C organic granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and seeds scraped out
1/4 C freshly squeezed lemon juice

To make the jam, place the fruit and sugar into a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the vanilla bean seeds and pod. Continue to cook, stirring the jam constantly, for about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the lemon juice. Hold the jam at a constant simmer, checking frequently to make sure the jam isn’t scorched at the bottom of the pot. After 15 minutes, check to see if your jam has set by running a wooden spoon down the middle of your jam. If the jam leaves a path, it's set. If the liquid runs back to fill the path, cook it a little bit longer. Remove the vanilla bean pod.

Place the jam in sterilized jars, leaving about a 1/2" gap to the top. Gently tap the bottom of each jar on the counter to release any air bubbles. Using a damp clean towel, wipe the rims of the jars and secure the lids and rings. Process in a water bath for 10-15 minutes. Remove the containers with tongs and let cool on the counter.

You’ll hear the sound of can tops popping shortly—a sign that a secure seal has been made. Pop, pop, pop. Or, you can refrigerate the jar without processing and use it within three weeks. Enjoy!

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