Makes 5 half-pints
The happy teaming of blueberries, orange, and lavender yields a lovely sauce for ice cream, vanilla or tapioca pudding, mousse, cheesecake, pound cake, or an orange or lemon layer cake.
• 1 cup orange-flavored liqueur
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 1/2 pounds fresh blueberries
• 20 fresh lavender flower heads
1. Prepare the jars, lids, and boiling-water bath. Combine the liqueur, water, and sugar in a pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has come to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat.
2. Meanwhile, pick over, wash, and dry the blueberries, then pack them in hot, dry jars, placing four lavender flower heads in each jar. Leave 1/2 inch headspace. Pour the hot liquid into the jars, just covering the berries. Wipe the rims with a clean towel and attach the lids securely. Place the jars in the boiling-water bath, and when the water returns to a full boil, process for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the jars, cool, label, and store.
Maggie Oster writes extensively about herbs, food, gardening, cooking, landscape design, flowers, and crafts. Her books include Recipes from an American Herb Garden (New York: Macmillan, 1993) and Herbal Vinegar (Pownal, Vermont: Storey Communications, 1994). When she’s not on the road, she’s in her garden or kitchen in Indiana or Kentucky.
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