Recipe Post: Pineapple-Vanilla Bean Jam


This was the third and final of my three jams I made for my wedding favours last month. 

I had a difficult time trying to decide which preserve I would make to follow as closely to my “yellow” wedding colour; I was originally considering:

  • Lemon curd (rejected due to it needing refrigeration and having a short shelf life due to the eggs in the recipe),
  • Meyer Lemon Marmalade (ultimately rejected because the season for Meyer lemons was August, therefore kind of late for me; they are very difficult to find even within season; and they are heinously expensive), and 
  • Caramel sauce (rejected because it was more tan than yellow, and it also needs refrigeration due to the cream in the recipe).

When I found and read over this recipe for pineapple jam, I was so relieved!  Not only was it simple and inexpensive to make, the ingredients list was stuff I actually already had on hand. Score!

As you can see from the picture, the colour came out a beautiful, sunny yellow, and I was a happy camper.

My Photoshop-talented bridesmaid (at least in comparison to me) made up some incredibly amazing jam jar labels for my three jams, but I was a derp and didn’t decide on the pineapple jam in enough time, so I couldn’t get them printed in time…hence my narsty printing on the labels.  The very least I can do is show off how awesome the professional-grade labels are that she slaved over in these posts!

Ta Da!!!!


Recipe and a step by step tutorial on how to make this jam is below!

Pineapple-Vanilla Bean Jam 
Original recipe: courtesy of pickyourown.org
Yield: About 4 or 5 half-pint (8oz.) jars
Best Before: 12-18 months post-processing

  • 1-20-ounce can of crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3-1/2 cups of granulated sugar, divided
  • 1-1/2 packets powdered pectin
  • Jar funnel and jar grabber 
  • 1 large saucepan
  • 1 large ladle
  • 1 Canner(sides must be high enough to cover the tops of your chosen jars with 1″ to spare
  • Ball or Mason jars, lids, and rings
Step 1 – Gather the Ingredients

Gather the ingredients. In this case, canned pineapple works better, due to its consistency.

Step 2 – Get the jars and lids washed

While you don’t need to sanitize the jars prior to filling them, they do need to be washed in hot, soapy water so the jars are clean and hot, and less likely to crack when you put boiling hot fruit in them. I usually like to be safe rather than sorry, so I put my freshly washed jars into my canning bath and boil them for a couple of minutes; that way they are squeaky-clean and hot by the time I’m ready to fill the jars. I take them out of the canner one at a time using rubber-tipped tongs to avoid chipping the glass.

Lids:  Put the lids into a pan of hot water for at least several minutes; to soften up the gummed surface and clean the lids.

 
Step 3 – Mix the pineapple with the pectin

Mix the pectin with 1/4 cup of the sugar (set the rest of the sugar aside for now).  This helps to keep the pectin from clumping up.
 

Stir the pectin/1/4 cup sugar mixture into the chopped fruit. Put the mix in a big pot and put it on the stove.

Notes about pectin:With pineapple I usually add about 50% more pectin (just open another pack and add about half) or else the jam is runnier than I like. BUT pineapple usually thickens pretty well, so try 1 packet and see how well it thickens. With a little practice, you’ll find out exactly how much pectin to get the thickness you like. 

 
Step 4 – Bring to a boil

Add the vanilla bean and seeds, and bring the mixture to a full boil. 

Step 5 – Add the sugar and return to a full boil

Add the remaining sugar (about 3.25 cups) and the lemon juice, and bring the mixture back to a full boil.  Once it hits a full, rolling boil, stir and boil for 1 minute.

Step 6 – Fill the jars and put the lid and rings on

Fill them to within ¼-inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Then put them into the boiling water canner!

Step 7 – Process the jars in the boiling water bath

Keep the jars covered with at least 2 inches of water. Keep the water boiling. Boil them for 5 minutes (at sea level; see the table below for times at other altitudes).

 Recommended process time for Pineapple Jam in a boiling water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack
Jar Size
0 – 1,000 ft
1,001 – 6,000 ft
Above 6,000 ft
Hot
Half-pints
or Pints
5 min
10
15

Step 8 – Done

Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight). Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that’s a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it’s usually ok.

It may take up to two weeks for the jam to set and thicken up. It will be runny until then!

Once cooled, they’re ready to store.   I find they last about 18 months.  After that, the get darker in color and start to get runny. They still seem safe to eat, but the flavor is bland.  So eat them in the first 12 to 18 months after you prepare them!  

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