With an increasing number of people growing their own food, and shopping at farmers’markets, there is a growing demand for information on extending the life of your fruits. Put ‘em Up! Fruit (Storey Publishing, 2013) by Sherri Brooks Vinton is full of ways to store and use extra fruit. In the following excerpt, find a blueberry syrup recipe that pairs perfectly with homemade pancakes.
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Put ‘em Up! Fruit.
Kitchen How-To: Prepping Blueberries
Once the picking is done, blueberries are a snap to prep. Both lowbush and highbush varieties are coated with a dusty-looking “bloom” that protects the berry. A quick rinse removes it. Then just give the berries a quick sort for any leaves or stems that may have made it into the bucket, and you’re ready to go.
Blueberry Syrup Recipe
When I was a little girl, breakfast on summer vacation would mean a trip to the pancake house. I loved silver-dollar cakes because their small size would allow me to douse each one with a different flavored syrup—maple, raspberry, vanilla, chocolate, or blueberry. I doubt there was much fruit in those brightly hued liquid sugars, but they were great fun for a kid. I make this blueberry syrup to bring that fruit-flavored joy to the table in an honest-to-goodness way.
• 1 quart blueberries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
• 1/4 cup water
1. Combine the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and water in a medium nonreactive pot. Slowly bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer until the berries fall apart, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on and then discarding the solids. Makes about 3 cups.
Preserve Blueberry Syrup
Refrigerate: Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Can: Use the boiling-water method. Ladle the syrup into clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace between the top of the syrup and the lid. Run a bubble tool along the inside of the glass to release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands until they are just fingertip-tight. Process the jars by submerging them in boiling water to cover by 2 inches for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, and let the jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove the jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check the seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.