Friday, June 1, 2012

Dirt to Table Experience: Blueberry-Maple Spoon Fruit

Blueberry season has arrived here in North Florida.  Each year, I take that trip to a local blueberry farm just east of Tallahassee, and pick enough blueberries to last me until the following season.

Blueberries freeze very well. The idea is not to wash your blueberries before freezing them.  Also, you don't have to use a baking sheet to separate the berries before putting them in plastic freezer bags.   Honestly after a stint in the freezer there is no reason to wash them when you are ready to use them.

I am learning the art of canning.  My skill level is extreme novice but, I am gaining confidence.  Home canning allows me to preserve fresh, great tasting fruits and vegetables.  This is produce that you cannot find in a commercial store-it's not possible because it is fully ripened and it would not been able to stand up to the long-distance shipping.

More importantly,  I do it because it connects me to my food, and it allows me more empowerment in how I feed my family.


This spoon fruit is not a jam or jelly. It is whole cooked fruit that can be easily spooned over ice cream, pancakes, into your yogurt or as a filling for crepes, or like me....Just eat it by the spoonfuls right out of the jar.

Blueberries are vitamin packed, anti-oxidant rich you cannot get a more healthier version unless you simply ate them directly from the bush.


Blueberry- Maple Spoon Fruit
Makes Four-8 ounce jars
Recipe from Food Network

Ingredients:
2 lemons
8 cups fresh blueberries (about 2-2/3 pounds), picked over
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (preferably grade A)
2 cups sugar

Directions:
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemons in wide strips, leaving the bitter white pith behind.  Squeeze the lemon juice through a strainer into a large, wide saucepan.

Add 3-1/2 cups blueberries, the lemon zest, maple syrup and sugar and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, 6 to 7 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until a candy or deep fry thermometer registers 220 degrees F, 30 to 40 minutes (reduce the heat if the mixture is sticking to the pan).  Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, sterilize four 8-ounce canning jars and lids.

Return the blueberry mixture to medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring then add to remaining 4-1/3 cups blueberries.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the berries are tender but still hold their shape, 7 to 10 minutes.

Fill the jars with the blueberry mixture, leaving 1/4 to 1/2-inch headspace, then seal and process.

Enjoy!

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35 comments:

Pam said...

What a great way to can blueberries, perfect for ice cream and pancakes! I also have always frozen them for use over the year but will have to try this way.

Claudia said...

I'm also new to canning and taking baby steps. My blueberries are still baby berries but it looks to be a bumper season. Here's to the novice making preserves! Better late than never. I hope mine look as luscious as yours.

Big Dude said...

Looks very good Velva and good you have a source. I picked our first one this week so we will be in blueberry heaven for about the next month.

Southerncook said...

Velva, I like this recipe. We have a farm in S GA and we have at least ten blueberry bushes on our property. I haven't been up in a while to check if we have blueberries but I'm sure we are covered in blueberries. There will be enough for us and some for our birds too. I have one of the grands this weekend so we might just have to ride up there for a Sun. outing.

Carolyn

Fresh Local and Best said...

Wow! I've never seen preserved whole blueberries! How lucky you are to be close to a good blueberry farm. This fruit would be great all year round.

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Velva, delicious looking blueberries. Excellent additives to ice creams.
Deepa

Alida said...

Mmm they look gorgeous and they are so good for you. Well done indeed!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

I've never heard of spoon fruit before, it sounds great! Enjoy:@)

Julie said...

Nothing is better than fresh blueberries. When I lived in KC there was a farm close to us for blueberries. Must be too far north because they are no where to be found in Nebraska! Your spoon fruit looks beautiful and love that copper pot. Happy weekend.

Michelle said...

Those would be divine on some pancakes!

Carolyn McCaffrey Stalnaker said...

I feel like I can smell these from here.... Beautiful!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I admire your learning to can Velva. You are so smart to freeze them too. We love blueberries and miss our bush that our gardener moved (and destroyed in the process).

NC blueberries aren't in yet and everyone is worried that the cold snap a month ago got the buds and we won't have any local blueberries.
Sam

Jackie @Syrup and Biscuits said...

What a great idea for blueberries! Something different than pie filling or jam. Our blueberry season is all ready over in Central Florida. :( Enjoy some for me.

Maureen Brady Johnson said...

When the kids were young, we would go to a blueberry farm and pick. I made blueberry jam and we froze a lot of the berries. I had to hide the berries deep in the freezer, though, because on a hot day the kids would grab a bowl and fill it with frozen berries and eat them all up!

Lynda said...

This is a great idea for blueberries Velva, and
I love the addition of maple syrup! I usually freeze some every year, but I should learn to do some canning. My mother wanted to teach me that art when I was young, but I wasn't interested then. Now I wish I had learned!

That Girl said...

I miss blueberry picking!

Marguerite said...

This is a fabulous idea! Our blueberries are coming in now and I would love to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I can't wait to tell my friend Mary about this recipe. Mary usually buys 30 lbs. of wild Mine blueberries when they come into season. Can't wait to make this, this will be my third year canning.

Chris said...

We just left North Florida about 3 hours ago! We were in Crestview, fishing out of Perdido Key. No blueberries there, lol.

Have a great weekend!

Angie's Recipes said...

I want to spoon some of those blueberries on my pancakes! They are BETTER than jam!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Your spoon fruit sounds terrific. I can't wait until later in the summer when the Maine wild blueberries will be ripe.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

You are so lucky to have such a wonderful, local source for blueberries. If I can find some beauties, I'd love to try making this spoon fruit recipe!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

What a beautiful recipe, Velva. I love all the plump berries in this fruit topping. I bet it's delicious on warm biscuits. Saving this recipe for blueberry season.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Ah, blueberries! This looks scrumptious - A long time ago, I discovered how delicious maple and blueberries are together. I don't know why it works, but it does. Congratulations on getting into canning. I'm still afraid, so I will probably freeze the berries I pick again.

Jenn Kendall said...

this sounds fantastic!

Hungry Dog said...

This looks so pretty and I can think of all kinds of uses for it. And I like the phrase "spoon fruit"...

Kitchen Belleicious said...

You just brought me wayyyy back! I swear the last time I had this was at my grandmother's house when I was a kid. We would pick blueberries and blackberries then go take them to her to make desserts. This was a favorite of mine! LOVE IT! Sorry I have been MIA- i'm back now! Busy two weeks!

Bo said...

I'm just learning canning too. This sounds fantastic! It's not really set, sort of like a sweetend fruit syrup, right?

Mary Lee said...

I love the look of this. The whole blueberries are just begging to be eaten right out of the jar. Good eye! :)

Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin said...

I'm a canning novice too! But these blueberries look so delicious, you've inspired me to give canning a try! :)

Mary said...

What a wonderful way to preserve blueberries. I've never used this method but it looks so good I'll have to give it a try. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Cathleen said...

This is excellent! I've never heard the term "spoon fruit" so I was very much intrigued. I'd LOVE to top my ice cream with this!

mangiabella said...

i am so intrigued by canning....you inspire me bella

Magic of Spice said...

I have never tried canning, but have thought about it often. I love that you used the whole fruit...looks wonderful!

Roz said...

Your pantry of canned fruits (and/or veggies) must be incredible! Blueberries are a staple in my frig for my morning oatmeal! I usually freeze them when summer prices are lower so I can enjoy them in the winter months. Love 'em!

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