This month’s Can Jam
ingredient was _erries. As in berries or cherries. I am so excited, because the possibilities are endless.
Blueberry syrup. One of those things my mom made when I was little that I didn’t care for. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, but why would you put anything on pancakes/waffles/french toast besides mayple syrup? To a kid, that one just didn’t add up.
So now I’m a grown-up and I like to mix it up. Especially when the berries are in season, local and I picked and canned them myself. I’m kinda proud of that.
Well, these berries weren’t exactly in season. My mom has several blueberry bushes and they never get ripe until late August. As far as I can tell, there are a couple different varieties around here. There is a smaller one that comes in now. And whatever kind my mom has come in a couple months from now. These berries are from last year and were frozen. They pretty much aren’t good for anything except cooking at this point because they’d been in the freezer too long. But, they made delicious syrup. And muffins.
Blueberry Syrup from The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
2 quarts blueberries
6 cups water, divided
1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel (I substituted 2 tbsp. lemon juice)
3 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Wash berries and drain. Crush berries. Combine blueberries, 2 cups of water and lemon peel in a medium saucepan. Simmer 5 minutes. Strain through a damp jelly bag or several layers of cheese cloth. Combine sugar and 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan, boil to 230 degrees. Add blueberry juice to sugar syrup. Boil 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Ladle hot syrup into hot jars, leaving 1/4 headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
NOTE: Fruit syrup is typically thin. If a thicker syrup is desired for serving, combine 1 cup syrup and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cooking until syrup thickens. Do not add cornstarch before canning.
There you have it. Easy as pie and the whole thing took me less than 1 hour, including the prep. I can’t wait to see what everyone else makes this month.
Crushing the blueberries.