Blueberry Syrup - Homemade & Home canned
I think that Maple Syrup and Blueberry Syrup are tied for first place in the "pancake topping race" and as always - nothing is as good as homemade.
My Blueberry Syrup recipe can be used in many other ways: ice cream, pancakes, waffles, flavor lemonade for a blueberry lemonade (I will have this in a post later in the month), in batter (eg blueberry muffins), in frosting, in homemade Popsicles (also a future blog post), in yogurt or kefir.......etc
NOTE: This syrup is on the thin or runny side but for certain uses - such as pancakes, it is easy to thicken with a little corn starch (see "thickening recipe" at the end of this post).
8 to 9 cups whole fresh blueberries (washed and drained)
Juice from 2 lemons (used at different times)
4 cups water (preferably filtered water)
3 cups sugar
Prepare the blueberries as described above. Place the blueberries, lemon juice and water in a large stock pot and bring to boil. Simmer for 1 hour (in the 2 pictures above you can see the difference in the color - before and after boiling). Now you will need to strain the juice to separate the blueberry pulp from the liquid (see the picture below - Oh how I love that deep color). Allow the juice to drain out of the colander for an hour.
Discard or compost the blueberry pulp and pour the blueberry juice into the large stock pot. Add in 3 cups of sugar and the juice from the second lemon - stir until dissolved.
Gather your canning jars, lids and rings (you will need 6 or 7 half pints):
Now bring the blueberry juice mixture to boil (stirring most of the time) and then turn down the heat and simmer for 1/2 hour.
By now your jars should be sterilized and ready to be filled. Take the jars out of the boiling water (I use my jar remover and make sure that the water is drained out of each jar). Pour the hot Blueberry Syrup into each sterilized jar and fill each jar up to the jar "threads" (about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of head space).
Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp cloth making sure that any syrup residue is gone (any residue left on the rim can stop the jar from sealing). Place a sterilized lid on each jar and then tighten a ring on each jar.
Place all jars in a "Water Bath Canner" and process (boil) the jars for 10 minutes (make sure that the water level in the Canner is 1 inch above the tallest jar)
Remove the jars and place them on the counter or table to cool (I always place them on a cloth because there have been a few times when a jar cracked and then the jam oozed out making a mess - the cloth will help if that happens). You will hear the wonderful popping sound of your jars sealing.
Allow the jars to cool for 24 hours and then store in your pantry or in your fruit cellar until the winter and then ENJOY a little bit of summer.
1 cup Blueberry syrup (cold or room temperature)
1 tablespoon corn starch
With a whisk - stir the corn starch & Blueberry syrup until combined (with no clumps). Pour into a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil - stirring all the time. You will know when it is thick enough by the color - The key to thickening with corn starch: the syrup mixture will be cloudy when you start , then after it has boiled - it will be transparent (blue but still transparent).