This is by far, my favorite jam recipe I have ever made.
I mean...my favvvvvvvorite! With the addition of merlot wine, the jam takes on this intense warm...Christmas-ie flavor. It seems like a lot of alcohol, but I assure you, it cooks off during the cooking process. Plus come on, we have whole cinnamon sticks and delicious vanilla beans added...you know you've got a good thing going.
I used to make this jam on a constant rotation. My husband loves himself some PB n J's, so I made sure our fridge was stocked with strawberry jam, pineapple butter, and this merlot beauty. Whenever one was about to end, I got on it and made another. Then I stopped! It's about time I get going on that again.
And honestly, if you want to win the Best Wife Award 2014, you need to make your husband this jam, this peanut butter (or this almond one), and this bread. Then you can shout from the rooftops that your family is eating a 100% homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Ones you know are perfectly natural and wholesome...with no GMOs or ickies! (No spellcheck! NOT DICKIES! ICKIES!! Goodness.)
MIXED BERRY MERLOT JAM
Makes about 6, 8 oz jars
For printable recipe, click here.
- 1, 12oz bag frozen blueberries
- 2, 16oz bags frozen strawberries
- 4 cups vanilla sugar
- 2 whole vanilla beans
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 1 cup Merlot wine
- 1/2 cup water
1. In a non reactive medium-large saucepot, add all of your ingredients. For the vanilla bean, cut each one length-wise and carefully scrape out the seeds inside. Add both the seeds and pods to your mix. Stir.
2. Over medium high heat, bring your mixture to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to medium-low and insert a candy thermometer. **Or if you do not have one, you can do the Plate Test.**
3. Cook mixture, stirring every 5 minutes or so until mixture reaches 220°F on your candy thermometer. Turn heat off, remove vanilla pods and cinnamon sticks, and puree to your liking.
4. Pour into cleaned and sanitized glass jam jars and seal quickly with a self-sealing lid. Allow to sit at room temperature until your lid "pops". Once you hear that "pop" you know your jam is air tight and sealed!
**I'm fully aware that some people prefer to go the whole 9 yards and add their canned goods to boiling hot water to really sanitize and seal. If that's you, go for it! I personally have never experienced a problem with boiling (aka sanitizing) my jars and lids first, allowing to thoroughly dry, adding boiling hot mixture to jars, fitting with self-sealing lids, and allowing to seal themselves on the counter.**
Great as gifts for friends or kept all for yourself! Jam will last for months in the refrigerator. Once opened though, it will last about 3 weeks.
This stuff is amazing over vanilla bean ice cream, poured over pancakes or waffles, or made into an upscale PB n J! We like to eat it with salty pretzels or right off the spoon!