Preserve the Harvest Series: Blueberries and Blueberry Marmalade

Preserve the Harvest Series: Let's Talk Blueberries & Blueberry Marmalade PRESERVE THE HARVEST SERIES AND BLUEBERRY MARMALADE

Preserve the Harvest Series presents a new fruit or vegetable every Tuesday with the goal of helping you get the most out of fresh fruits and vegetables harvested during peak season. Whether you grow your own fruits and vegetables, buy them at the Farmer’s Market or your local grocery store, it is good to remember the best time to preserve your bounty is when it is plentiful. Preserving the harvest stocks your pantry shelves and freezer with whole foods that you can feel good about, foods that taste great, and this approach saves you money.  A sane approach to sustainability! Next up…Blueberries and Blueberry Marmalade.

Preserve the Harvest Series: Let's Talk Blueberries & Blueberry Marmalade LET’S TALK BLUEBERRIES

Growing Blueberries at Home

Blueberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow organically, but proper preparation and patience are necessary to reap the full benefits. To grow properly blueberries require soil that is acidic, proper care for a shallow root system and plenty of water when fruiting. Blueberry plants take about 3 years before they begin to produce any sizeable amount of berries. Once fully mature you can expect about 8 quarts of berries per bush.

Read more about growing and caring for blueberries at About Home: How to Grow Blueberries in the Home Garden.

Purchasing Blueberries

Blueberries ripen somewhere between mid July to mid August making this the best time to purchase blueberries if you are not fortunate enough to grow your own. When purchasing blueberries, look for berries that look fresh, plump and unblemished. A refrigerated display case is the best place to look. After purchasing, blueberries should be refrigerated as well for maximum longevity. When handled properly fresh blueberries should last for 10 – 14 days. Wash berries prior to eating.

Freezing Blueberries

Blueberries may be frozen with great results. To freeze, rinse berries lightly and place on paper towel to soak up extra moisture. Arrange blueberries on a baking sheet in single layer and  place in the freezer until frozen solid. Once frozen, remove berries and place in heavy duty freezer bag or use vacuum sealer. Frozen berries can be stored up to a year. 

Preserve the Harvest Series: Let's Talk Blueberries & Blueberry Marmalade BLUEBERRY MARMALADE

Blueberries and citrus combine to make this unusual marmalade. I enjoy the extra bit of sweetness the blueberries add, giving a great tasting twist on a perennial favorite. This recipe was developed quite by accident while reading directions for two different recipes and then getting mixed up about which one I was actually making. I decided I couldn’t let all those lovely oranges and blueberries go to waste, so I threw the book out the window and went on a wing and a prayer. I love how this recipe came together.  I hope you will too!

The following recipe is processed using a water bath canning process. If you have never canned before or need a refresher the National Center for Home Food Preservation is the gold standard of information. I would encourage you to head over and read their general canning information.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Blueberry Marmalade
 
Recipe will make approximately 6 pints.
Ingredients
  • 4 oranges
  • 2 lemons, very thinly sliced
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 cups blueberries
  • 6 cups sugar
Instructions
  1. Remove thin outer rind from oranges with vegetable peeler or paring knife and cut into fine strips.
  2. Place rind, thinly slice lemons, and water in a large non-reactive pan.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and gently boil for 25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, remove remaining white pith from the oranges, cut in half (being careful to save juice from the oranges) and place all in a food processor.Process until finely chopped.
  5. Add chopped pulp and blueberries to orange mixture and return to a boil.
  6. Boil gently for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat, add sugar and bring to a rapid boil.
  8. With mixture uncovered, continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to gel.( about 35 minutes depending on moisture content of the berries) *see link below for how to tell when mixture will form a gel.
  9. Once thickened, remove from heat.
  10. Ladle into hot jars and process for 15 minutes.

Preserve the Harvest Series: Let's Talk Blueberries & Blueberry Marmalade

Recipe adapted from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Recipes to Use Year-Round

Three Ways to Test the Jellying Point for Jams and Jellies: http://www.portlandpreserve.com/TestingTheJellyPoint.pdf

Blueberry Marmalade shared with: *Thank you Honey: Whatever Wednesday *Crafty Allie: Worthwhile Wednesday’s *Smart Schoolhouse: Whimsy Wednesday * My Paper Craze: Creative Spark *Ducks n’ a Row:Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop *The Crafty Wife: Wednesday Roundup *Homestead Lady: Green Thumb Thursday *Yum Eating: The Yuck Stops Here *O Taste And See: Family Fun Friday *Juggling Real Food And Real Life: Let’s Get Real *The Deliberate Mom: Shine Blog Hop *Culinary Flavors: The Weekend Social  *The Pin Junkie: The Pin Junkie *Living Well Spending Less: Thrifty Thursday *The Cookie Puzzle: Party in Your PJ’S * Nancherrow: Friday’s Unfolded *The Diary of A Real Housewife: Foodie Friday’s *In the Kitchen With Jenny: Foodie Friends Friday Love Bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Friday’s *Captain America and His English Rose: The Pretty Pintastic Party *Create with Joy: Friendship Friday *Army wife to Suburban Life: Pin Your Friday Favorite *A Dish of Daily Life: Foodie Friday’s *What’s on The List: Say G’Day *Oh My Heartsie Girl: Weekends are Fun Party * New Mama Diaries: Creative Style LinkUp *2 Crochet Hooks: Snickerdoodle Sunday *Our Rosey Life: Share it Sunday *Our Simple Life: Happiness is Homemade * Create with Joy: Inspire Me Monday * Creative K Kids: Bloggers Brags *It’s a Ginger Snap: Motivate Me Monday * Plucky’s Second Thoughts *Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday *Craving Some Creativity: Turn It Up Tuesday *Cupcakes and Crinoline: Project Inspired *Lou Lou Girls *Mandy’s Recipe Box: Totally Talented Tuesday’s *Crafty Spices: Wordless Wednesday * Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesdays *Create with Joy: Wordless Wednesday *Our Table For Seven: Share Your Stuff

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Preserve the Harvest Series: Blackberries and Canning Homemade Blackberry Syrup

Preserve the Harvest: Let's Talk Blackberries and Canning Homemade Blackberry Syrup

PRESERVE THE HARVEST SERIES & CANNING HOMEMADE BLACKBERRY SYRUP

Preserve the Harvest Series presents a new fruit or vegetable every Tuesday with the goal of helping you get the most out of fresh fruits and vegetables harvested during peak season. Whether you grow your own fruits and vegetables, buy them at the Farmer’s Market or your local grocery store, it is good to remember the best time to preserve your bounty is when it is plentiful. Preserving the harvest stocks your pantry shelves and freezer with whole foods that you can feel good about, foods that taste great, and this approach saves you money.  A sane approach to sustainability! Next up…Blackberries & Canning Homemade Blackberry Syrup

Preserve the Harvest: Let's Talk Blackberries and Canning Homemade Blackberry Syrup

LET’S TALK BLACKBERRIES

Blackberries are bramble fruits and grow on thorny canes or what some may call sticker bushes. Thornless blackberry bushes are available, but the thornless variety can still have small thorns that cause damage . It’s a good idea to wear gloves for protection when working with the canes. While blackberries are easy to grow, it is important to keep a good eye on the developing canes. If left to themselves they can quickly take over an area. Blackberries like lots of sun, soil with good drainage, and plenty of water, especially when fruiting.  Treat your plants well and they will give you many years of productive growing seasons.

See the following links for more information on planting, growing and pruning blackberries.

Planting: Planting Blackberries: The National Gardening Association

Pruning: Blackberry Pruning – How To Trim Blackberry Bushes: Gardening Know How

HARVESTING, CARE AND STORAGE OF BLACKBERRIES

Berries ripen over a period of several weeks and once they begin to ripen will need to be picked every 2-4 days. Bird netting can be purchased to cover your berries if you are having an issue with birds eating your crop and don’t want to share. Pick berries early in the morning in the cool of the day. Refrigerate immediately and rinse berries only right before using.  Refrigerated berries will keep for up to 5 days.

Blackberries may be frozen with great results. To freeze, rinse berries lightly and place on paper towel to soak up extra moisture. Arrange blackberries on a baking sheet in single layer and  place in the freezer until frozen solid. Once frozen, remove berries and place in heavy duty freezer bag or use vacuum sealer. Frozen berries can be stored up to a year. 

Preserve the Harvest: Let's Talk Blackberries and Canning Homemade Blackberry Syrup

CANNING HOMEMADE BLACKBERRY SYRUP

Today’s recipe is adapted from one of my favorite berry cookbooks; The Berry Bible By Janie Hibler. The Berry Bible has 175 recipes that use every berry imaginable. I love the fact that she includes recipes for wild, fresh and frozen berries. If you enjoy making recipes with berries you should check this one out. I increased the amount of fruit suggested and decreased the sugar. To make the syrup a little thicker I simply cook it a little longer. I also left out the butter and baking soda in her recipe. It always makes me a bit nervous to use fats when using a water bath method for canning.

For many years I resisted making fruit syrups. I couldn’t see the benefit since I don’t like fruit syrup on my pancakes. I missed out. There are so many ways to use this delicious syrup. I like to make mine a little bit on the thick side making it useful for so many things. Spoon homemade canned blackberry syrup over ice cream or use to brighten up a salad dressing. The recipe also works well as a glaze on ham or poultry.  Think outside the box and you will be amazed at the versatility of this syrup.

SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED

  • Water Bath Canner
  • Quart Jars with Lids and Bands – Just the right size for 1 pie.
  • Utensil Set  – Not absolutely necessary, but makes the job of canning a whole lot easier.
  • Large non- reactive pot
  • Food Mill or  Juicer  – I have a food mill and a juicer. Each have their pro’s and con’s. My Omega juicer does do a great job at getting all the seeds out and removing the pulp with little waste, but I have to clean it a few times while juicing. The hand cranked food mill works well too, but with a little more waste. It also takes twice as long.

The following recipe is processed using a water bath canning process. If you have never canned before or need a refresher the National Center for Home Food Preservation is the gold standard of information. I would encourage you to head over and read their general canning information.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Homemade Blackberry Syrup
 
Recipe makes 4 8oz jars syrup.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon Juice (about 2 medium sized lemons)
  • 6-7 cups of fresh blackberries, rinsed and drained, pureed and seeded. Amount of puree should equal 3 cups.
  • 1 box (1.75 ounce) powdered pectin
  • 2½ cups sugar
Instructions
  1. Pour blackberry puree and lemon juice into a large nonreactive pan.
  2. Add pectin and mix thoroughly.
  3. Place the pan over medium high heat and bring to a full boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Add sugar, mix thoroughly and simmer until syrup is slightly thickened (about 5 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat, fill sterilized 8 oz canning jars leaving ½ inch headspace.
  6. Wipe rim of canning jar and apply lid and band.
  7. Process in hot water bath for 10 - 15 minutes depending on elevation.

 Homemade Blackberry Syrup shared with:

*Savvy Southern Style: Wow us Wednesday *Dizzy, Busy and Hungry: Wine’d Down Wednesdays *Crafty Allie: Worthwhile Wednesdays *The Shady Porch: Party on the Porch *Smart School House: Whimsy Wednesday *My Paper craze: Creative Spark *My Crafty Wife: The Wednesday Roundup *Homestead Lady: Green Thumb Thursday *Organized 31:Inspire us Thursday *Living Well Spending Less: Thrifty Thursday *The Deliberate Mom: Shine *Calm Healthy Sexy: Let’s Get Real *Nancherrows: Friday’s Unfolded *Ruffles and Rainboots: Thank Goodness it’s Thursday *Happy and Blessed Home: Family Fun Friday *The Diary of a Real Housewife: Friday Favorites *Kitchen Dreaming: The Weekend Social *A Dish of Daily Life: Foodie Friday’s *Sondra Lyn at Home: Share it Sunday *2 Crochet Hooks: Snickerdoodle Sunday *Baking in Pyjamas: Sweet and Savoury *Mrs Tee Love Life Laughter: The Mommy Monday Blog Hop *Create With Joy: Inspire Me Monday *Bloggers Brags: Pinterest Party *Plucky’s Second Thoughts * 21st Century Housewife: Hearth and Soul Hop *It’s a Ginger Snap: Motivate Me Monday *Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday *Craving Some Creativity: Turn It Up Tuesday * An Extraordinary Day: Craft Room Makeover *Lou Lou Girls: Lou Lou Girls *Our Table For Seven: Share Your Stuff Tuesday’s * Mandy’s Recipe Box: Totally Talented Tuesday’s *Designed by BH:Twirl and Take a Bow *Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesday’s

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”