Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Canning Blueberry Pie Filling

One of the staple desserts at the holidays was my Grandmother’s Cheesecake. She always made two; one cherry and one blueberry.  The blueberry was my favorite!  When Jon and I were first married we hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our new home.  I tried to mimic all the family favorite recipes including cheesecake.  

I had no idea all the steps involved in making a homemade cheesecake.  I used cream cheese and cooked in a water bath and a dozen tedious steps.  The whole time I just kept thinking, ‘I can’t see my Grandmother going to this much work!’   

On Thanksgiving Day when I served my masterpiece, it tasted nothing like Grandmother’s home made goodness.  My little Grandmother giggled and confessed that she never made her cheesecakes from scratch; she always used a boxed Jell-O No-Bake Cheesecake Dessert! 

Blueberry cheesecake is still one of my favorite desserts.  The blueberry goodness is my favorite part regardless of whether it is served over the homemade variety or the boxed mix I grew up with.  So when I saw blueberries on sale at my local grocery store my first thoughts jumped to pie filling! 

Blueberry Pie Filling
10 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
2 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup Clear Jel 
4 cups of warm water
¼ cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Remove stems from blueberries and rinse berries in cool water. Drain well. If using frozen blueberries, do not rinse.

In an 8 quart pan, whisk together the sugar and Clear-Jel until very well combined. Clear-Jel is similar to starch, however it thickens better at high temperatures like canning better than starch.

Add the warm water to the sugar mixture all at once. Using a spoon, stir gently to blend the water into the dry ingredients. Do not use a whisk, as it will cause the pie filling to contain air bubbles.

Over low heat, stirring gently, gradually heat the mixture until it is warm, the Clear-Jel is completely dissolved and the mixture turns translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not allow the filing to boil or it will contain air bubbles. Stir in the lemon just and butter until well blended. Gently fold in the blueberries and heat 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.

Spoon the pie filling into hot sterilized Ball Pint Jars, use a Bubble Remover to remove air bubbles, and leaving ½ inch head space. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings. Process both pints and quart jars for 30 minutes in a water bath.  

Makes about 6 pint jars or 3 quart jars.

Now all I need is cheesecake. . . or a spoon!  This would be great as an ice cream topper or served over pancakes! 

 But in the fifth year you may eat of its fruit, to increase its yield for you: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:25

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