Blueberry Bonanaza

After my last jelly post, I was struck by one of the comments:  “Your jelly must be really delicious. I couldn’t bring myself to throw away all that cherry pulp, so it will never happen in my kitchen”  (Mae).  I did “recycle” the pulp in our worm bin, but I was a bit thunderstruck by Mae’s comment.   Why, indeed, did I bring myself to discard that lovely pulp?

Soon after, I picked about four pounds of blueberries at our local U-Pick farm.

I wanted to preserve them and got ready to start my go-to blueberry jam recipe.   Then, just for fun, I decided to peruse through my two favorite canning books, an ancient Farm Journal’s Freezing & Canning Cookbook and Ball’s Complete Book of Home Preserving.

I found virtually the same recipe in each book.  It was a recipe that utilized all the goodness of the berry to make both syrup and a thick delicious butter.

I had to share.  It’s a three part recipe but yielded three pints of syrup and about 2 1/2 pints of butter.   It’s worth the effort.

Blueberry Bonanza

This recipe makes about 2 pints of syrup and five (4 oz.) jelly jars of butter. It’s a win-win.

Ingredients

  • 12 c. fresh blueberries
  • 3 c. filtered water
  • jelly bag or a sieve lined with cheese cloth

Instructions

  1. In a large sauce pan or kettle, combine berries with water. Bring to a boil, stirring a crushing mixture with a potato masher. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer blueberries to a dampened jelly bag or a strainer lined with cheesecloth set over a 8 c. measuring cup or large mixing bowl. Let strain and drip until you have 5 cups of juice. If necessary, add a bit of filtered water to get desired measurement. Set juice aside.
  3. Puree remaining pulp in food processor. Set aside.
  4. Prepare canning supplies. Sterilize lids and jars and prepare a canner for water bath.

Now that you have your pulp puree and your juice, you can start making the butter and the syrup.

Blueberry Syrup

Use the strained juice from the recipe above to make your syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. filtered water
  • 3 c. water
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 5 c. blueberry juice (from instructions above)
  • 2 c. corn syrup*
  • juice of one lemon (about 2 oz.)
  • 2-3 pint jars (or 4-6 half pint jars) and lids, sterilized

Instructions

  1. In a large deep stainless steel saucepan, combine 1 cup of water and 3 cups of the sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in blueberry juice, corn syrup*, and half of the lemon juice (about 2 oz.). Return to a boil. Reduce heat and boil steadily stirring occasionally, until mixture is slightly thickened about 35 minutes. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
  2. Ladle hot syrup into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe rim, Center lid on jar. Screw band down, finger-tight.
  3. Place jars in canner, covering with water. Bring to to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove and let seal.

*I did not want to use corn syrup so I substituted the following:  Combine 2 cups sugar with 1/2 c. sugar.   Place in a heavy saucepan and bring to a soft ball stage (235 F.).

Blueberry Butter

Use the pulp leftover from you syrup making to make this delicious fruit butter.

Ingredients

  • Blueberry puree
  • 3 c. sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of one lemon (about 2 oz.)
  • 1 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 half pint jars and lids, sterilized

Instructions

  1. In a separate clean large stainless steel saucepan, combine blueberry puree, remaining 3 cups sugar, lemon zest, remaining lemon juice (about 2 oz.), nutmeg and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds it shape on a spoon.
  2. Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Remove air bubbles with a wooden skewer if necessary. Wipe rims, center lid on jar, screw band down until finger-tight.
  3. Place jars in canner, cover with water, process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Remove jars. Wait for them to seal.
 This butter is the most delicious thing ever with just a hint of citrus and spice.   I will make syrup again just so I can get some of this concentrated fruit butter.
No pulp was thrown away in this canning process!

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Eat, Pray, Love
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My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
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Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
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