Down here in the south, we’re past blueberry picking season, but if they’re still available in your area, this easy recipe makes seriously delicious old fashioned preserves. I was lucky enough to find our local Lucky’s had a great deal on them last week for only .99/lb. I couldn’t resist making another batch to add to the 12 – 1/2 pints I’d made from a flat of berries I picked up at the farmer’s market in May.
If you’re not familiar with water-bath canning, the best place to become educated is at the Ball/Kerr website. Alternatively, you can buy a Blue Ball Canning Book or check one out from your local library. I’ve had mine for over 30 years and it’s never steered me wrong. You can also just store the preserves in freezer containers and pull one out to put in your fridge whenever you get a hankering for some homemade yummy goodness slathered on hot buttered biscuits, waffles, pancakes, toast, or even just crackers. English muffins with butter, peanut butter, and homemade preserves are a personal favorite. 😍
Flea markets are fun places to find supplies
I found my first and second water-bath canners at yard sales over the years and have found canning jars and other supplies as well. Flea markets are another fun place to look. 😃
However, a new water-bath canner from a discount store like Walmart is pretty affordable. All you really need is the canner, canning jars with new lids, and a good ring for each jar. The jars and rings can be used for as long as they stay in good shape, meaning no chips or cracks in the glass, especially the lip of the jar, and non-rusty or bent rings.
Jars, Rings, Lids
The lids are only good for a single trip through the canner, but can be used repeatedly for storing food in the fridge or freezer if there are no holes in them. Also, a jar grabber/lifter is nice to have, but I canned for years without one. I’d just let my canned jars sit in the water until they cooled enough for me to lift them out with my bare hands. You can also buy a complete “kit” that has everything you’ll need, except the jars. I buy jars wherever. The last case came from my favorite Publix grocery store. The jars in my pictures are what I happened to have hanging around in my cupboard.
Eventually I’d like to give Weck canning jars a try. I love the idea of reusable seals rather than having to buy new lids, however, the jar sets are pretty pricey.
Now, on to the recipe…
Old Fashioned Blueberry Preserves
Created by Melissa Woolard | Culinary Craftiness
- 3 pints (6 cups) fresh blueberries, washed, dried, stems removed
- 5-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (optional)
- 8 prepared 1/2-pint canning jars (recipe may only make 6)
- In a large stainless steel pot, stir together all the ingredients except the spice, if using. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently, then lower to medium and continue cooking and stirring for 20-25 minutes, until thickened.
- Carefully ladle into clean hot jars up to 1/2" from top using a wide-mouthed funnel, wipe rims clean with a paper towel, top with hot sterilized lids, then finger tighten rings. Gently slip into boiling canner water with jar lifter or a pair of tongs ensuring tops of jars are covered by approximately 1 inch of water. Put canner lid on, bring back to a boil, and process for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and carefully remove jars with lifter, tongs, or allow the water to cool enough to handle jars without getting burned.
- Place processed jars on dry towel on counter and allow to completely cool. Lids will ping as they completely seal. If a lid pops in and out when depressed after completely cooled, it didn't seal properly. Store in refrigerator and use first. 🙂
- Makes 6 to 8 - 1/2 pint jars.