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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blueberry Syrup

Ontario blueberries are now in season! They will be available from now until late summer but I plan on getting the blueberry products I'm putting up within the next week. The reason for this is other produce is simple time management. As the growing season progresses, the days get hotter, boating beckons and my gardens are producing it is a little more difficult to get out to the U-picks. I ever love to get my hands on some wild blueberries! They would make a beautiful syrup!

preparing blueberry syrupPreparations

Blueberries should be picked in season when they are blue with a powdery hue (1). They can be frozen as is without washing for later use or rinsed well for immediate use. While washing remove an reddish coloured berries that will not ripen after picking or wrinkled berries that are a bit over ripe. Combine the ingredients for the syrup then bring to a boil (2). Reduce the heat to simmer then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. The blueberry mixture is now ready for straining to separate the remaining berry pulp from the syrup.

I use a fine mesh strainer inside a colander set in a metal bowl (3) for straining the blueberry mixture. Then I lined the fine mesh strainer with two layers of cheesecloth (4). I moistened the cheesecloth before straining the blueberry mixture. If you don't moisten the cheesecloth it will act as a hungry wick absorbing the syrup.

pulp and reheatingBlueberry Pulp

The easiest way to transfer the mixture into the strainer is simply pouring. Do not be tempted to do this unless you want to clean your kitchen! The splatters will go everywhere. I used a ladle to transfer the mixture into the strainer (5). Once the syrup was separated I was left with a good amount of pulp very much the consistency of jam. I originally planned on drying this but decided to can it as well. I brought both the syrup and pulp to a boil (6) then proceeded with the canning. Don't throw out the soiled cheesecloth as it is made from cotton so can be put in your compost bin.

canned blueberry syrup and pulpOut of the Canner

Blueberry products always look dark and regal when canned. The picture really does not do justice as to how pretty they look due to learning how to use my new camera. I ended up with 3 - 250 ml (half pint) jars of blueberry syrup, 1 - 250 ml jar of the blueberry pulp jam and a 125 ml baby food jar of the jam. The baby food jar is only for short term refrigerator storage as it was not processed. Baby food jars cannot safely be used in canning because the sealant on the lid has already been used so will fail. I like using them for storing that little bit of extra left over from canning that won't fill a regular mason jar.

Blueberry Syrup
modified from Jean Pare, Company's Coming Preserves (1994), Pp. 137

6 c blueberries
1 c granulated sugar
1 c water
1/2 c corn syrup
2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh or bottled

Rinse and drain blueberries. Measure ingredients into a large saucepan. Heat on medium high until mixture boils while continuously stirring. Cover then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture though a moistened cheesecloth lined strainer. Bring the syrup to a boil. Divide the syrup equally into 2 - 3 hot 250 ml (half pint) jars. Add boiling water if necessary to leave 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims. Adjust two piece caps. Process in BWB 10 min at altitudes 1,000 ft or less above sea level. If above 1,000 ft refer to altitude chart. Remove from canner at end of processing. Let sit undisturbed 24 hours. Check for seal then store properly.

Yield: 2 to 3 - 250 ml jars

My Notes: 6 c of blueberries is roughly 2 lb or 2 quarts. I used organic cane sugar and bottled lemon juice (standardized) adjusted to 2 tbsp as per BBB. The corn syrup gives a silkier texture to the syrup while adding a bit of flavour. I processed the jam at the same time in keeping with current USDA recommendations for soft spreads.

2 food lovers commented:

Anonymous said...

I have a bunch of blueberries I froze in double bags last summer. We are not eating them fast enough. Can I make them into blueberry pie filling or preserves or something?

Julie H.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Julie and thanks for visiting. Frozen blueberries could be made in jam, pie filling and syrup.