July is Nationwide Blueberry Month. Blueberries are among the many best fruits to freeze. It may also be canned or made into jams, jellies, preserves, or syrups. Pies, muffins, and different fast breads made with blueberries will be made forward and frozen for a handy deal with.
Select berries that look plump and agency with a lightweight silvery bloom. Select totally ripe fruit, as unripe berries do not get any sweeter as soon as they’re picked.
Ripe blueberries have a lightweight blue to blue-black coloration. Crimson or inexperienced berries have a bitter flavour. Blueberries are delicate. Fastidiously examine the fruits and take away crushed, diseased or rotten berries.
Don’t wash recent blueberries till you’re prepared to make use of them. It’ll spoil shortly if refrigerated whereas moist.
As a result of the moisture on the floor of frozen berries strengthens the pores and skin, some sources advocate freezing blueberries unwashed, after which washing them earlier than utilizing them.
An alternative choice is to scrub the berries earlier than freezing, however they should be effectively dried. Lay it in a single layer on a towel and pat dry.
To freeze blueberries, unfold the dry berries on a flat tray and place them within the freezer.
As soon as the berries are laborious, switch the frozen berries to any sealed container or freezer bag. It doesn’t soften if you find yourself prepared to make use of it.
Blueberries may also be frozen crushed or pureed. Crush or press the washed berries by means of a wonderful sieve, or puree them in a blender or meals processor.
Combine 1 to 1-1/8 cups of sugar with every quart (2 kilos) of crushed or pureed berries. Stir till the sugar dissolves. Pack them into freezer containers, leaving room for the top.
It’s best to freeze solely the quantity that can be utilized in one yr. Correctly frozen berries can be protected to make use of for longer intervals of time, however they may begin exhibiting indicators of deteriorating high quality comparable to freezer burn and texture modifications.
Blueberries will be canned in gentle to medium sugar syrup or topped with water, apple juice, or white grape juice.
To make a lightweight syrup for a 2-quart canning load, combine 2-1/4 cups of sugar in 9 cups of water and warmth till dissolved. Or combine and dissolve 3-3/4 cups sugar in 8-1/4 cups water to make a medium syrup.
To warmth the bag, place the drained berries in boiling syrup, juice, or water and boil for 30 seconds. Fill clear jars with scorching berries and cooking liquid, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.
Course of scorching packed pints or quarts and uncooked packed pints or quarts for quarter-hour in a boiling water bathtub. Course of uncooked packed quarts for 20 minutes.
Elevations above 1,000 ft require extra processing occasions. Begin the remedy time after the water reaches a robust boil.
After curing, take away the canner from the warmth supply, take away the lid, and let the jars sit within the water for five minutes earlier than eradicating the jars from the canner. (Keep away from tilting the jars when lifting them from the canner.)
In the event you like fruit jams, you may discover this Blueberry Spice Jam recipe interesting. Bear in mind, you’ll be able to’t substitute liquid pectin like Certo for powdered pectin like Certain Jell or Ball Actual Fruit Pectin as a result of it is added to fruit in a different way.
In the event you do not sterilize the jars, you’ll need to course of the jam for about 10 minutes which might weaken the set of the jam.
It is a conventional jam that makes use of a great deal of sugar which improves the flavour and preserves the standard. Don’t substitute low-sugar or no-sugar pectin on this recipe. Bear in mind to work shortly to realize a fascinating product.
Blueberry jam with pectin powder
- 2-1/2 pints of ripe blueberries
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon
- 5-1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup of water
- 1 package deal (1-3/4 ounces) powdered pectin or 5-1/3 tablespoons free pectin
Wash the blueberries and crush them effectively, layer by layer, in a big saucepan. Add lemon juice, spices and water. Stir within the pectin and convey to a boil over excessive warmth, stirring ceaselessly. Add sugar and convey again to full boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Take away from warmth and shortly take away foam. Fastidiously pour into sterilized pint jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe the edges of the jar. Set the lids and course of the jars for five minutes in a boiling water bathtub. After processing, take away the canner from the warmth, take away the lid of the canner and let the jars sit within the scorching water for five minutes earlier than eradicating them on a floor coated with a fabric. Yields about 5 pint pints
When you’ve got meals preservation questions, a housekeeping knowledgeable can be out there to reply questions on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Name 394-717-6851 or write Penn State Extension, Lancaster County, 1383 Arcadia Highway, Room 140, Lancaster, Pa., 17601.