Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Blueberry Pie Filling

Blueberries are the cheapest they have been in years.  This is the best crop in anyone's memory, to the point that the government is buying some of the surplus.  So, I couldn't resist $1.98 for an 18-oz box.  Some of it went on my morning steel-cut oats, but a lot of it went toward this.

Unlike jam recipes, this is super easy and quick.  Fifteen minutes max.  It's also important to note that although I'm storing it in mason jars, this is not a canning recipe.  There isn't enough acid or sugar, and the cornstarch would break down if you processed it and then used it in a pie.

You'll note that there's relatively little sugar in this recipe.  My taste-test proved that the berries were plenty sweet on their own, so I kept it to a minimum.  If you want so much sugar (or corn syrup) that you can't really taste the fruit, buy canned filling.  The point of this was to make it taste home-made.

18 oz blueberries (about 3-1/2 C)
1/4 C water
6 Tb sugar (1/4 C + 2 Tb)
*1 Tb lemon juice
*1 Tb cornstarch

1.  Stir together 2 Tb water, the cornstarch, and the lemon juice.  Set aside.
2.  In a medium saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, and 2 Tb water.  Cook over medium heat until berries are soft but not mushy, about 10-15 minutes.  If you break some of the berries, you'll get a better color in the syrup and the filling will cook faster.

3.  Once desired doneness of berries is reached, stir in cornstarch slurry.  It's going to thicken up in 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour into storage containers.  Allow to stop steaming before putting a lid on it.  Can be refrigerated for one week or frozen for up to a month.
Pro tip:  If you end up with more goo than you expected, like I did, there are a few solutions.  One, strain it out to use as syrup for pancakes, yogurt, crepes, ice cream, in soda, etc.  Two, add more fresh berries when you use the filling, not necessarily the same kind.  Three, use it for something where the drippiness is an asset, like on cheesecake.

Makes about 2-1/2 cups

Difficulty rating  π

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