Friday, July 12, 2013

Food Friday: Blueberry Syrup

Last week, I made up a batch of blueberry jam and had some blueberries left over.  A normal woman would make some more jam or maybe bake a pie.  Instead, I opted to explore some recipes to make make and can blueberry syrup.  I love fruit syrup and thought that blueberries would be a good place to start.  Successful canning requires organization and precision.  Getting everything measured and ready to go makes the job a while lot easier and is essential.

6 cups of fresh blueberries, washed and stemmed
5 cups of white sugar
juice & zest of half a lemon
1/2 cup of water

Rinse the blueberries, stir in the water and then crush the berries.  I considered using a potato masher and doing this by hand before opting for getting out my stick blender and going to work.  The stick mixer made quick work of the job.

Mix the crushed berries with the lemon juice and the zest and heat over high heat.  Once the berries reach a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 
At this point, if you have larger chunks of berries, you should press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, to get smoother liquid.  My berries were plenty squished by my blender stick and I like a little texture in my fruit syrup, so I skipped this step.  

Either way, the next step is to add the sugar and bring the berry mixture to a boil again.  The mixture will begin to thicken.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.  Then turn off the heat and allow the syrup to cool for a bit.
Pour into sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top.  
Secure lids and bands and process for 10 minutes, following the usual canning rules.  In my case, that's 10 minutes in the boiling water bath.
There are canning experts in the world and you look there for instructions.  Try Simple Bites Canning 101 or the Ball Canning website if you want high quality canning play-by-play guidance.

I used 12 ounce jars to store my syrup and this recipe filled three jars (it reduces a lot!).  The leftover syrup also went into a jar for the fridge and was served on pancakes shortly thereafter.  The remaining jars were set aside for a yummy breakfast sometime soon.

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