One of my very favorite things about blueberry season is being able to make blueberry syrup. The syrup that I make is really more of a "compote" which is what I call it when I gift it to friends. I don't strain out my blueberries from the syrup because I like the bits of fruit, and I'll always choose preserves over jelly for that reason.
It's SO easy to make and you can can it very easily in a water bath canner- no need for a pressure canner with these blue beauties! I'll also include very basic canning instructions below.
1 Gallon fresh or frozen blueberries (I prefer fresh for this)
3 Cups Sugar (you can use less)
A couple squirts of lemon juice (always use ReaLemon brand for canning)
First, Pour all your berries into a good sized stock pot, and use a potato masher to mash about 1/4 of the berries (I usually just get in there and mash a few times until it looks like this:
After you've mashed a bit you can add your sugar and lemon juice to the pot. Mix it all together well and let the mixture sit out on your counter for about an hour. Lay a towel over your pot because fruit flies are gonna get all up there if you don't. After your mixture has sat for an hour it should look like this:
Now the pot is ready for the stove. This really doesn't need to cook long- it's one of the wonderful things about a syrup. So, cook this whole pot on med-high to high for about 10 mins (10 mins starts once you get a simmer going). After 10 mins your syrup should look like this:
At this point, you can cook it longer while mashing berries against the side of your pot with your spoon (they're much easier to mash when they've been cooked a bit) if you want more syrup vs. berries. It *looks* like there's still a ton of berries in here, but they will float so there is a good bit of liquid syrup in the pot.
At this point, you're ready to jar it up! If you're planning to can this, a water bath process is sufficient. You can WB process for 10 minutes (I won't get into a lengthy canning process here).
1 gallon of blueberries plus a couple extra handfuls will fill 7 pints perfectly (which also fills most canners perfectly as well).
You can easily half the recipe if you only want a small amount for baking. If you don't want to can it, I recommend still storing in mason jars. You'll need to store it in the fridge, though. The jars may "seal" from the heat of the syrup, but that's not an actual seal so be sure to store it in the refrigerator. It will keep in the fridge for close to a month.
My favorite way to use this syrup is in baking. You can pour it into cake/pound cake/muffin batter or you can mix it with fresh fruit for cobbler. You can also cook it with cornstarch or clearjel for pie filling. It's also an interesting cocktail mixer and great for summer parties. My other favorite way to use this is in kombucha. It makes the BEST kombucha additive for your f2 (you kombucha brewers know what I'm talking about).
We're still open for blueberry season!! There's still plenty of time to gran an extra gallon and try this recipe out for yourself!
Happy cooking and canning!