July 22, 2010

Blueberry Pie Filling in a Jar {Webisode #33}

What’s Going on Today: Last day in Cooperstown, bike ride with daughter, blueberry picking with Dad!
Naptime Goals: Can 2 quarts of Blueberry Pie filling with my Dad.
Tonight’s Menu: Mom’s cooking (again!), I am in charge of the corn.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: Never let them wear treasured clothes when blueberry picking.

Last weekend in Cooperstown was so much fun that I’m still writing about it. Luckily, our visit coincided with the height of blueberry season. My Dad and I took my daughter blueberry picking one morning and came home with several pints. We also had a few more pints that we’d picked up at the farmer’s market so, come naptime, there was a lot to work with. As you saw earlier this week, I’d already made a cake and this time I wanted to do something different.

The unfortunate part about fruit pies in general is that they are typically seasonal due to the availability of the fruit. However, I have now found a way to get around this. Inspired by my friend Cathy, I made my usual blueberry pie filling recipe and canned it in quart jars for later. As you’ll see above, the process was incredibly simple and easily handled during naptime. Once the jars cooled we even took one right over to our friends house as a gift. I think I might have to dedicate a few more naptimes to canning fruit pie fillings. Not only will the larder be stocked with fresh, local berries for the whole winter, but I’ll have all of my Christmas presents completed by the end of July!

Recipe

Blueberry Pie Filling in a Jar

Ingredients

makes 2 quarts

10 c. blueberries, washed and dried
½ c. water
1 ½ c. sugar
6 T. cornstarch
5 T. bottled lemon juice

Instructions

1. Wash and dry the blueberries and set aside. Sterilize 2 quart jars along with the lids in boiling water or in a dishwasher run without soap.

2. In a large stockpot bring the water, sugar, corn starch and lemon juice and to a boil.

3. Pour in the blueberries very carefully and bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring continuously with a long spoon. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes while the berries release their juices and the mixture thickens, becoming blue and glossy.

4. Set a funnel over a quart jar and ladle in the blueberry mixture, leaving about 1″ of room at the top. Repeat with second quart jar.

5. Placed the sterilized lids on the jar and seal them with the rims, only tightening the ring as much as you can with your own hand. Do not force it.

6. Place the jars in a pot of boiling water standing on end. Make sure the water covers the tops of the jars. Boil for 30 minutes, starting the timing when the mixture has returned to a boil after the jars have been added.

7. Remove jars and place in a cool, dry place on a kitchen towel. Allow to cool naturally for a few hours. Store jars for the long term in a cool, dry place until using.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

I am still experimenting with other fruits, but canning pie filling is a smart and economical way to ensure the fresh fruit flavor of summer all year long.

Naptime Stopwatch

Making the filling takes about 10 minutes. Processing the cans in a waterbath takes about 30 minutes.

Naptime Reviews

A great gift, great filling and fun way to preserve summer in a jar – what’s not to love!