Thursday, August 26, 2010

Canning Blueberries

It's been a good season for blueberries, so I bought some to can for later use. My two containers had just enough berries for five half pints. Here's how I did it.

First, I washed and organized all of my canning equipment. Then I started boiling the water in my canning pot. I use that to sterilize my jars, rings and rims.

Then I made a medium syrup using 3 cups of water and a cup and a half of sugar. The syrup will help increase the flavour, colour and shape of the fruit over time. I cooked it slowly, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolved and it almost came to a boil. After removing the syrup from the heat, I added the strained juice of one lemon to help increase the acidity.

My recipe called for blanching the berries. I did that by placing a cup of berries in a cheese cloth, immersing them in boiling water for 10 seconds, then plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking process.

After a quick drain, I funneled the berries into sterilized jars, making sure to leave enough space at the top for them to be covered by the syrup. The berries will reduce in size during processing, but the juice that extracts makes a wonderful addition to lemonade.

I reheated the syrup before ladling it over the blueberries. The recipe called for 1/4" headspace between the top of the berries and syrup, and the rim of the jar. In a few cases, I needed remove a few berries. I left them in a dish to eat later. They were yummy with their lightly sweet coating.

I used a stainless steel knife to remove any trapped air bubbles. There were quite a few, so I had to add a bit more syrup to to get the correct headspace back. I wiped the rims to make sure they were clean enough to get a good seal.

Once all of the jars were sealed with self-sealing lids and rings, they went into my water bath canner with the lid on to be processed for 15 minutes. Make sure the jars are covered with at least one inch of water. And timing doesn't begin until the water returns and stays at a full, rolling boil. After cooling, test the seals to make sure they are secure.

Each jar will be just the right size for a batch of pancakes. I just love blueberries in my pancakes!

Right about now, the wild blueberries in the high country should be getting ripe. If I can convince Wayne to head on up to the Elephant Lakes on our quads, maybe I'll pick some more for canning. -- Margy

3 comments:

  1. Looks great! I have tomatoes in the caner at this minute. I love the idea of sterilizing your things in the caner...I will have to try that. Thanks for the tip. Have a great weekend, Margy.

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  2. I did the same thing to my cherries last year but time was short this year so I just froze them and will make jam for the diner as I need it. I used my cherries as a topping for ice cream or right from the jar, delicious.


    Margaret

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  3. Hi Lorie - I also did some tomatoes this week. I didn't have that many, but too many to eat. I ended up with three half pints. That's a good size for us. Just enough for one meal. I try to use the canner water because we cook with propane from bottles. It's not only for the economics, but because we have to haul the bottles to town in the boat for refills. Every bit counts.

    Margaret - It was good to see you at the restaurant this morning. Good to see Magpie's is doing so well. And I'm glad to see you will get a bit of a vacation over the Labour Day weekend. Enjoy your cabin days!

    Margy

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