News & Blues!


Long time no read, I know, I know.   It's been embarrassingly long since I've posted, but we have had a lot of changes happening!  For one, we moved from sunny Florida back north to Indiana, home of the Hoosiers, corn hole, and sugar cream pie.   We wanted to be closer to our family and friends, and secondly, my husband is starting a new job with his family's 70 year old pie company, Wick's Pies.

One week prior to our big move (I mean, BIG move), my girlfriend asked if I would like to go blueberry picking.  It was the end of the season, so we could take as many berries as we wanted!  I came home with about 25 pounds of these babies and one week to use them...grrrreat.  

I called my Grandma Quiring for some canning tips, because, of course, I had never canned a thing in my life.  With the clock ticking, I decided to give canning a whirl.  Blueberry pie filling it was!  A pot of blueberries, some water, sugar, lemon juice/rind, and corn starch is all it took!  Brought the mixture to a simmer, boiled the jars & lids, and filled everything while it was piping hot.  I ended up with about 7 Ball jars of pie filling, and 2 of the remaining juice/syrup (which is great on yogurt, as seen above).

3 weeks post-move, I opened a few cans of filling and made a quick pie using our family's raw pie crusts.  Call me Sandra Lee here, but this semi-homeade pie turned out to be one of the easiest and prettiest pies I've ever made!  


Ready to give canning a whirl?  See the recipe I (kind of) followed below:

Blueberry Pie Filling (for canning)

Ingredients

  • 3 quarts fresh blueberries
  • 4 cups water
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • Lemon juice from 3 lemons + Rind from 1
  • 6 heaping TBS cornstarch
Tools
  • 2 large stockpots (one for the filling, one for sanitizing the jars/lids
  • tongs 
  • ladel
  • oven mits (or dishtowels)
  • ball jars (about 10) with sealers and metal screw bands
Before you start, run all the jars, sealers, and metal bands through the dishwasher with no detergent to sanitize.

Bring one large stockpot of water to boil.  

In the meantime, place blueberries, 2 cups water, sugar, lemon juice and rind into another large pot.  Mix 2 cups hot water with cornstarch and stir until dissolved.  Add to the blueberry mixture.  Bring to a simmer.

While the blueberry mixture comes to a simmer, place one jar and one sealer and one metal screw band into the boiling water.  Let sit in boiling water for 30 seconds.
 
Working quickly, carefully pull out the glass jar with tongs, empty any water left in it.  Fill the hot jar with hot blueberry filling (using ladle); fill right to the top so there is no space between the lid and the liquid.  Place the sealer lid on and screw the metal band closed.  Do not close the lid too tight; just to where it stops (about 90% closed...according to Grandma!).  Set aside on the counter and let cool.  

You will hear the seals "pop" quite loudly, within 10-20 minutes or so.  You should also be able to see the lids dip down towards the liquid.  If you notice one has not sealed properly, place in the fridge and use within 3-5 days or so.  I had one that did not seal...it happens!

Keep in mind that you want to work quickly as the blueberries will soften within 5-7 minutes of simmering.  After your first jar, the rest will be easier.  Don't overthink it, it's very easy!  

Cheers to summer!