Stanley’s Fruits and Vegetables on the far east side of Wicker Park is one of my favorite spots in the city. Where else can you buy a quart of blueberries, a pineapple and ten avocados for three dollars? A lot of places outside the city, yes, but then don’t have access to other places like Margie’s Candies or Longman & Eagle. Anyway, with the cheap ass prices at Stanley’s, I decided to make my first ever batch of preserves. I’ve been itching to toss some cardamom with blueberry and I had a vanilla bean on hand, so I made myself a jam plan.
The Learning Curve
- Swap out the sugar. You can take out the honey by replacing it with a packet of fruit pectin. This will keep the jam firm without the added sweetness. Take a savory route with ground black pepper added in with the cardamom.
- 5 cups blueberries (frozen and thawed or fresh)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon cardamom, freshly ground
- Juice of one lemon(about 2 tablespoons)
- Zest of one lemon
- Medium sauce pot
- paring knife (for the vanilla bean)
Add blueberries to the sauce pot and smash with the back of a spoon or a potato masher. Add honey, lemon juice and zest. Scrape the beans from the vanilla pod and add to the pot with the cardamom. Bring to a boil for 15-25 minutes, longer if you want a thicker jam.
Skim off foam and ladle into clean mason jars.
Serve on toast, with crepes, or in thumbprint cookies.