Blueberry Pie Filling

Putting in some work during the summer means you can enjoy the mouthwatering flavor of blueberry pie year-round. This filling can also be used as the fruit layer in parfaits, between the pudding layer and the whipped cream.

Yield

makes about four pint jars

Ingredients

water
8 cups blueberries
1 2/3 cups granulated (white) sugar
2/3 cup ClearJel®*
12 drops blue food coloring, optional**
4 drops red food coloring, optional
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, optional
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

Prepare boiling water canner, jars, and lids. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Fill a large stainless steel saucepan halfway with water and bring to a full rolling boil over high heat. Add blueberries and blanch for 1 minute. Drain well and return to pot. Cover to keep warm.

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine sugar and ClearJel®. Whisk in 2 cups water. Add blue and red food coloring, if using. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Stir in lemon zest, if using, and lemon juice and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Fold in heated blueberries.

Ladle hot filling into hot jars, leaving slightly more than 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot filling. Wipe rim with clean cloth. Center lid on jar. Screw band (ring) down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 30 minutes, adjusting for altitude***. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Store.

Additional Information

* ClearJel® is a cooking starch that is acceptable for use in home canning. Not all cooking starches are suitable for home canning, as reheating causes some to lose viscosity. Making mixtures too thick can interfere with required heat penetration during heat processing.

** Using food coloring will enhance the color of this filling because blueberries tend to have a dull blue color that does not color the gel as well. The addition of food coloring enlivens the overall color of the pie filling, making it more appetizing.

*** If you are canning above 1,000 feet sea level, see Canning Altitude Adjustments to find how much additional processing time is needed.

Place a clean towel on your work surface to absorb water from the hot jars as you take them out of the water bath (boiling-water) canner to be filled, and again once the jars are processed. The towel prevents hot jars from coming into contact with cooler countertops. Significant temperature differences can cause jar breakage.

A jar lifter is very helpful for handling hot, wet jars. Because they are bulky and fit loosely, oven mitts — even water-resistant types — are not a wise choice. When filling jars, an all-purpose rubber glove, worn on your helper hand, will allow you to steady the jar.

A clear plastic ruler, kept solely for kitchen use, will help you determine the correct headspace. Each filled jar should be measured accurately, as the headspace can affect sealing and the preservation of the contents.

When preparing jars and lids, prepare a couple extra in case your yield is larger than you expect. If you don't have enough jars, place any leftovers in an airtight container; store in the refrigerator and use within a few weeks.

Before using jars, inspect them carefully for any chips, cracks or fractures. Discard any imperfect jars.

See Canning & Preserving Glossary for a description of terms used in this recipe.

Before canning each season, review canning procedures. See Canning & Preserving Basics to refresh your memory with the procedures.

Recipe Courtesy Of

Ball Home Preserving

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