Blueberry season has arrived here in North Florida. Each year, I take that trip to a local blueberry farm just east of Tallahassee, and pick enough blueberries to last me until the following season.
Blueberries freeze very well. The idea is not to wash your blueberries before freezing them. Also, you don’t have to use a baking sheet to separate the berries before putting them in plastic freezer bags. Honestly after a stint in the freezer there is no reason to wash them when you are ready to use them.
I am learning the art of canning. My skill level is extreme novice but, I am gaining confidence. Home canning allows me to preserve fresh, great tasting fruits and vegetables. This is produce that you cannot find in a commercial store-it’s not possible because it is fully ripened and it would not been able to stand up to the long-distance shipping.
More importantly, I do it because it connects me to my food, and it allows me more empowerment in how I feed my family.
This spoon fruit is not a jam or jelly. It is whole cooked fruit that can be easily spooned over ice cream, pancakes, into your yogurt or as a filling for crepes, or like me….Just eat it by the spoonfuls right out of the jar.
Blueberries are vitamin packed, anti-oxidant rich you cannot get a more healthier version unless you simply ate them directly from the bush.
Blueberry- Maple Spoon Fruit
Makes Four-8 ounce jars
Recipe from Food Network
8 cups fresh blueberries (about 2-2/3 pounds), picked over
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (preferably grade A)
2 cups sugar
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemons in wide strips, leaving the bitter white pith behind. Squeeze the lemon juice through a strainer into a large, wide saucepan.
Add 3-1/2 cups blueberries, the lemon zest, maple syrup and sugar and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until a candy or deep fry thermometer registers 220 degrees F, 30 to 40 minutes (reduce the heat if the mixture is sticking to the pan). Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, sterilize four 8-ounce canning jars and lids.
Return the blueberry mixture to medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring then add to remaining 4-1/3 cups blueberries. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the berries are tender but still hold their shape, 7 to 10 minutes.
Fill the jars with the blueberry mixture, leaving 1/4 to 1/2-inch headspace, then seal and process.