As promised – I tackled my blueberry projects today and (attempted) to take as many pictures as possible along the way. Pineapples will have to wait until they are a bit more ripe before I start their canning projects.
As I talked about the other day, I wanted to attempt recipes that utilized as much of the fruit as possible with minimal-to-no waste. With that in mind I was able to create 2 recipes that did just that – Blueberry Syrup and Blueberry Butter.
Blueberry Syrup [yield: (4) 8oz jelly jars]
- 4 8oz ‘jelly’ jars (plus flat lids and bands/rings) [Hint: I usually add an additional jar or 2 just in case]
- 1 water bath
- 1 funnel
- 1 jar lifter
- 1 stainless steel ladle
- 1 potato masher (or similar)
- 1 large stainless steel pot (or dutch oven)
- 1 jelly bag or cheesecloth
- 1 dish towel (large enough for the jelly jars to cool on)
- 1 measuring tool
- 1 fine wire-mesh strainer
- 1 candy thermometer
- 1 large bowl to place strainer in (preferably with measurements on the side)
- 4 1/2lbs of fresh blueberries
- 3c water
- 3c sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
- Inspect each of your jars for cracks, chips, and/or any other questionable markings before use.
- Place wire rack into bottom of water bath with ‘arms’ up to allow jars to be placed.
- Fill you water bath with enough water to cover each of the jelly jars with 2-3″ of liquid and place on burner to warm jars (simmer but do not boil).
- De-stem, wash and rinse all blueberries and place in stainless steel pot.
- Add 2c of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; crushing berries with a potato masher.
- Reduce heat, and simmer for 12 minutes; stirring occasionally.
- Place strainer over large bowl and then line with 3 layers of dampened cheesecloth.
- Slowly pour blueberry mixture into cheesecloth lined strainer. Let sit (do not press mixture) until you have gathered at least 2 1/2 cups of blueberry juice and it no longer drips. Keep pulp for blueberry butter recipe.
- In stainless steel pot, combine 3c of sugar, and 1c of water. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Boil, uncovered, for 20 minutes (or until mixture reaches 220°F – 104°C) on a candy thermometer, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in blueberry and lemon juice. Return to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring once.
- Remove from heat and skim off foam (with slotted spoon), if desired.
- Remove empty jelly jars from water bath by lifting the wire rack and setting the arms on the rim of the water bath. Then, using jar lifter empty and remove the jar from the water and immediately fill with blueberry syrup using the ladle and funnel ensuring 1/4in head space. [Head space is the distance from the top of the jar to the food filling the jar.]
- Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp cloth ensuring that the rims are clean.
- Place flat lid and screw band on jar and finger tighten. [Hint: Place the jar on a towel and using only your fingers, tighten the band until your jar spins on the towel.]
- Once finger tightened, return to warm water bath to avoid thermal shock. [Thermal shock is the cracking of jars from an extreme temperature swing such as putting hot food into a cold jar.] Lower wire rack once full.
- Place lid on canner, return to high heat and bring water to a full rolling boil.
- Once boiling, set timer for 10 minutes [refer to your elevations processing time for correct info].
- After 10 minutes, turn off heat and remove the lid. Wait an additional 5 minutes.
- Once again, lifting wire rack and placing arms on canner rim, use the jar lifter to remove your filled jars and place on a towel in a cool & draft-free location.
- Wait 24 hours before touching the jars. After 24 hours, remove the bands and pick up each jar from the flat lid (this will help ensure that each jar is truly sealed). Once the seal is verified, you may wash the exterior of the jars, dry, label, and store for future use.
Below are pictures of the step-by-step process of making Blueberry Syrup: