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Home Ec Project: Preserving Blueberries

Here's the latest addition to the home economics column on preservation techniques. If you haven't completed the canning safety project, I strongly suggest you do before embarking on any food preservation project. What follows are some interesting ways of preserving blueberries by canning, freezing, and drying.

As an additional reminder, wash and rinse all fruit well prior using them.

Blueberry Relish

2 quarts blueberries, washed and stemmed
4 c. Sugar
1 c. cider vinegar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. allspice
1/4 t. ginger

Wash and sterilize 6 half-pint jars and closures. Place berries in a large enamel or stainless steel saucepan and crush a few with a potatoes masher. Cover and simmer, stirring now and then, until berries are soft. Mix in remaining ingredients, insert a candy thermometer, and boil slowly, stirring now and then, until thermometer measures 218 F. Ladle into jars, filling to withing 1/8" of tops. Wipe rims and seal. Cool, check seals, label, and store in a cool, dark, dry place 3 to 4 weeks before serving.

Blueberries Canned

Berries may be canned in sryup or water, but the method given here is better if berries are to be used in muffins, etc. Put 2 or 3 quarts clean berries in square of cheesecloth. Hold cloth by cornes and dip into boiling water until spots appear on cloth. Dip into cold water. Pack into hot jars, leaving half inch headspace. Add neither sugar nor liquid. Adjust caps. Process pints 15 minutes, quarts 20 minutes in boiling water bath.

Blueberry Syrup #1

2 qts. blueberries, rinsed, drained
2 c. water
1 T. grated lemon peel
3 c. sugar
4 c. water
2 T. lemon juice

Crush berries; add 2 cups water and lemon peel. Simmer 5 minutes. Drain through several layers of damp cheesecloth or jelly bag. Squeeze to extract juice and pulp from berries. Mix sugar and four cups water. Boil to 260F. Add berry juice to sugar syrup. Boil 1 minute. Add lemon juice. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving quarter inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: about three pints.

Blueberry - Pineapple Conserve

1 qt. stemmed blueberries
5 c. sugar
2 c. finely chopped, cored, pared fresh pineapple

Combine fruit and sugar in a large sauce pot. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until thick, about 30 minutes. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving quarter inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: about 4 half-pints.

Blueberry Pie Filling

12 c. blueberries
3 c. sugar
3/4 c. cornstarch
1 T. grated lemon peel
1/4 c. lemon juice

Combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in blueberries; let stand until juice begins to flow, aobut 30 minutes. Add lemon peel and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken. Pour into can or freeze jars or plastic freezer boxes. Seal, label, and freeze. Yield: about 5 pints.

Blueberry Juice

This takes in strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, elderberries and other berries that can be covered with water and cooked just below boiling point for half an hour. Strain through bouble thickness of cheesecloth. If you want this as a smooth drink, add one cup of sugar to the gallon of juice.

Blueberry Ice Cream

1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries
1 pint half-and-half
1 c. Sugar
1 t. lemon juice
1 t. vanilla extract

Mash the berries, mix with the sugar and let stand at room temperature at least one hour. Run through a blender and then simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring often. Cool, then stir in half-and-half, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Chill, crank, and freeze. Yield: one quart.

Fruit Sherbet

1 env. unflavored gelatin
1/2 to 3/4 c. sugar
dash salt
1/2 c. water
2 c. fresh fruit puree
1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk
3 egg whites
1/4 c. sugar

In large saucepan combine gelatin, 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (to taste), and salt. Stir in water; heat and stir til gelatin dissolves. Stir in desired fruit puree and evaporated milk. Turn into a 9x9x2" pan, cover and freeze until firm. In small mixer bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gredaully add 1/4 cup sugar, beating till stiff peaks form. Break frozen mixture into chucks; turn into chilled large mixer bowl. Beat until fluffy. Fold in egg whites. Return to pan; cover and freeze until firm. Makes about 1 quarts.

Blueberries Dried

Select large, firm, fully ripe berries that have a deep blue color all over. Wash berries and remove stems. Dry at 150F for two to three hours, then at 130F until dry.

Blueberry-Banana Leather

1 1/2 c. diced bananas
1 1/2 c. blueberries
2 T. fresh lemon juice

Puree all ingredients. Prepare two leather trays. Spread as directed. Dehydrate 8 to 10 hours, or until leather pulls away from liner. Yield: 2 leathers.

Blueberry Leather

1 1/2 c. blueberries
1 T. fresh lemon juice

Puree blueberries and lemon juice. Prepare one leather tray. Spread as directed. Dehydrate 8 to 10 hours or until leather will pull away from liner. Variations: some say that this is too bland on its own; combine with apple or peach for added flavor. Spices, flavorings, sweetenings: cinnamon, coriander, lemon, white corn syrup. Yield: 1 leather.

Blueberry Leather Chips

Dry fruit leather until brittle. These can be eaten as a snack, chopped to make toppings on cereals and puddings or reconstituted to flavor yogurt, ice cream, milk shakes, and baby cereal. Store dried chips in airtight glass or plastic contaners.

Blueberry Syrup #2

1 quart berry juice
1 pint sugar
1 t. allspice
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. cloves
1 t. nutmeg

Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil. Boil about 15 to 20 minutes and remove from heat. Put in jars, seal, and keep for future use.

Blueberry Jam

9 c. berries
6 c. sugar

Combine berries and sugar in a large saucepot. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to jellying point. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Adjust caps. Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: about 3 pints.

Blueberry - Lemon Jam

1 1/2 qts. Blueberries
7 c. sugar
1 lemon
1 (6 oz.) liquid pectin

Stem and wash berries. Let dry 15 - 20 minutes. Puree berries in blender. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and add to berries. Grate the rind and also add to berries. Place berries, juice and grated rind in an enamel-coated saucepan with the sugar. Bring to a boil and let boil one minue, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat and stir in the pectin. Continue stirring and skim off the foam or top residue for five minutes. Then pour into hot sterilized jars and seal according to canning directions.


4 cups Fresh blueberries -- rinsed and stemmed
1 medium Onion -- finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Golden raisins
1/2 cup Firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons Yellow mustard seed
1 tablespoon Grated crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Dried red pepper flakes

Try this chutney with roasted turkey, duck or goose, meat or curries. Mixed with mayonnaise or plain yogurt it makes a piquant dressing for salads made with meat, poultry and fruits. Place blueberries in 4 quart saucepan; add onion, vinegar, raisins, brown sugar, mustard seed, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and red pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a boil; simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes, or until chutney is thick. Meanwhile, wash 4 half pint jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs. Ladle the hot chutney into 1 hot jar at a time, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (20 minutes 1,001 to 3,000 feet; 25 minutes 3,001 to 6,000 feet; 30 minutes above 6,000 feet)


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