Country Living Series

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Canning blueberries

This summer I picked 18.5 lbs of blueberries from our bushes.



As they came ripe, I picked and froze them until the harvest was complete. Now it was time to haul all the bags out of the freezer and can them.


I wasn't sure how many pints 18.5 lbs of blueberries would fill, so I just started filling jars.


I also made a medium syrup.


Blueberries are some of the few fruits where a cold pack is recommended over a hot pack. I did not, however, blanch them.



I kept filling jars and kept filling jars until I ended up with 31 pints.


Then I filled the jars with syrup.


As I wiped the rims with a damp cloth...


...I found one jar with a nick, so I had to pour it into an unchipped jar.


Getting the lids ready.



Between my two largest pots, I could fit 17 pints at a time.



Blueberries (in pints) only need to process for 15 minutes at a rolling boil, so hammering through two sets didn't take long.


Even after a quarter-century of canning, I still find filled jars just -- beautiful.

22 comments:

  1. Patrice, What kind of blueberry plants (besides delicious!) are you growing?
    Steve
    Morrow, OH

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I regret to say I have no idea. I bought them from a local grower back in 2004 who ran a you-pick place. Unfortunately she has since passed away and the house was sold. The realtors (the realtors!!!) ripped out the hundreds of blueberry plants before the house went on the market. I almost cried when I heard that.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  2. I'm with you, Patrice! Love seeing those jars line the shelves.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maybe it's because I'm not a huge blueberry fan so I don't pay attention to them, but what do you do with canned blueberries? Aside from pie filling or in muffins or pancakes or as ice cream topping...how do you use them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly what you suggest: pies, muffins, pancakes, and ice cream. I also use them to make smoothies and trifle.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  4. That's because they ARE beautiful LOL. Even more beautiful because you did it all.

    Well, you and your family and God.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I canned tomatoes this last weekend. Just four quarts as it was my first try. They turned out good, though.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm relatively new at canning and have a question - it looks like you left more then a half-inch headspace. Or is that just the way it looks in the picture?
    I'm new at canning but love the finished product as well. I was able to can apricot jam and pickled beets this year. Woot! SJ in Vancouver BC

    ReplyDelete
  7. The finished product does not only show a lovely jar of produce, but for me I always remember from the seed to the jar and how rewarding it is to go through the process.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love the sight of full jars as well. Nothing better than making meals with the produce we have grown ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have just one question (I ask this because we are seeing this in our family as children move away). Can your family eat 31 pints of blueberries in a year? For example, I am finding we put up more tomato sauce than we can reasonably eat each year... yet I still grow lots of tomatoes. Why do we do it? It's an addiction I tell ya! LOL! Or maybe just the force of habit?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll use a fair bit for our neighborhood potlucks. But what is the alternative -- NOT to harvest and preserve the blueberries? Nope, not in my book, ha ha.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  10. I love blueberries as well. I stock my freezer with lots! We also enjoy them straight out of the freezer as a frozen treat. I'm wondering why you can them and do not leave them in the freezer? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This particular variety of blueberry isn't terribly sweet, i.e. for fresh eating. But they're superb canned and make an easy pie filling.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  11. I thought I posted this yesterday, so sorry if it's a repeat. How much headspace do you allow for the berries? My canning book says to leave 1/2 inch but your picture appears to have more space then that. I'm fairly new at canning and it's all been self-taught. I'd appreciate your insight. SJ in Vancouver BC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A headspace of 1/2 inch is correct. The photo was taken moments after I removed the jars from the canner, when the contents were still swollen from the heat (which is WHY you need to leave a headspace, LOL). Don't worry, you're doing it right.

      - Patrice

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the help and encouragement. SJ

      Delete
  12. Patrice, like you I am also an avid canner. However, I decided this year it might be more prudent to NOT can everything. I have begun to dehydrate about 30% of our produce just as a precaution against jars breaking (earthquake perhaps?). Anyway, it is the old "do not keep all your eggs in one basket" syndrome, I guess. Have you considered dehydrating, even some of your blueberries? They are great in granolas, oatmeals, etc. Even just as snacks. Anyway, thought I would throw that out there for you. I enjoy your blog very much. I have learned a lot!

    Blessings always….

    ReplyDelete
  13. How many blueberry bushes do you have to yield the 18.5 lbs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. About 15. Keep in mind these bushes are ten years old and mature. Blueberries will produce for about 25 years. They take awhile to get rolling, but once they do, they do great.

      - Patrice

      Delete