Happy Foodie Friday, dear reader. Being that we are well into blueberry season, I thought I would share with you my favorite recipe for home-canned blueberry conserve. Many years ago, while living in Brookville, Pennsylvania, my nephew, niece, and I went to a pick-your-own blueberry farm. There isn’t anything more fun than picking fruit with kids. We spent an hour or so walking over hills covered in rows upon rows of blueberry bushes. We told stories about bears and had a competition to see who could find the biggest berry, and they ate almost as much as they picked. This is one of my favorite memories with them.
When my nephew and niece got older and no longer enjoyed picking berries, I would buy berries from Stutzman’s Farm already picked. Although not as enjoyable, it was much easier to pick up the pre-picked berries, take them home, and freeze or can them. I haven’t done anything during blueberry season for several years. When we lived in town, I canned a lot. Now that we live on a farm and have our little soap business, I don’t have time to can. However, this year, I intend to make a small batch of blueberry conserve to give as gifts and enjoy with our pasture-raised pork.
I love to pair blueberry conserve with chicken, turkey, and pork. It is a delicious accompaniment to most roasted white meats. This conserve is fresh, fruity, and wonderfully fragrant. I also enjoy it on sandwiches. Spread upon a good sourdough bread with gouda cheese makes for an upscale and delicious grilled cheese sandwich.
Conserve is a bit more uncommon than the traditional blueberry jelly, jam, or syrup. However, it is a delicious and wonderful reminder of warm summer days during a chilly, blustery winter day. Because I am usually the only one who enjoys pairing fruit with my roasted meat, I prepare my conserve in small half-pint jars. Half-pints create one to two larger servings or three to four smaller servings. I think it is the perfect size to enjoy with a meal and perhaps a few sandwiches. I also think the tiny jars look like lovely deep purple gems.
I suggest the beautiful berries from Stutzman’s Farm if you are local. Not only will you have fresh, beautiful local fruit to enjoy, but you will be supporting a wonderful family and their small farm/business. If you want something unique and delicious to try with blueberries, I highly recommend blueberry conserve. Enjoy.
Blueberry Conserve (Ball Blue Book of Preserving)
Yield: 4 half-pints
2 Cups Water
4 Cups Sugar
1/3 Cup Lemon Thinly Sliced (About ½ of a Large Lemon)
½ Cup Orange Thinly Sliced (About ½ of a Medium Orange)
½ Cup Golden Raisins
1 Quart Blueberries
Bring water to a boil; add lemon, orange, and raisins. Simmer for five minutes. Stir in the blueberries. Cook rapidly, almost to gelling point. As the mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Ladle hot conserve into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch head space. Remove the air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps—process for fifteen minutes in a boiling water canner.
Follow all safety guidelines for home canning sanitation. If you are unfamiliar with the canning process, consult an experienced home canner, purchase a home canning book, or watch a reputable YouTube tutorial. I consider the Ball Blue Book of Preserving my home canning bible.
On this stormy Friday morning, stay safe, be smart, eat local, eat simply, and keep washing your hands.