Save the taste of summer with home made blueberry lemon preserves. Think making homemade preserves is hard? Not at all. All you need is a big pot of boiling water and the proper canning jars.
There are certain experiences in my life I think of as “food memories”. Those are the times when I’ve tasted or shared a dish that was particularly memorable not only because it was delicious, but because the moment was a perfect combination of great food, a beautiful setting and, especially, great company.
Years ago, when our kids were very young, we visited my sister on Martha’s Vineyard. She lived in a house on a wooded lot in Vineyard Haven. One afternoon while we were exploring the woods we found a wild blueberry patch in a clearing. The dozens of bushes were covered with little ripe berries. I can still see my kids with their pudgy little fingers plucking the berries off the bushes and popping them into their mouths. Those tiny blueberries had the purest and most wonderful flavor of any blueberry I’d ever tasted.
Perhaps is was the beautiful setting with people I love, the perfect ingredients for a food memory, but I don’t think I’ll ever taste a blueberry as good as those we picked in the woods that day.
For the past few weeks we’ve been getting blueberries with our farm share as a u-pick item. While no berry may ever match those Martha’s Vineyard Blueberries, the fruit I picked at the farm last week was pretty darn tasty.
Since our farm uses no pesticides or herbicides the growing areas are abundant with life. There are lots of “weeds” growing between the bushes and more than a few bees, beetles and other critters flying and crawling around as you pick. I love to munch on the berries still warm from the sun. They have a fuller flavor than commercial berries, with an almost herbal aftertaste.
In our area blueberries are available and inexpensive all through the summer months. This is the time to buy some extras and preserve them to enjoy later in the year when the price goes up and the quality goes down.
It’s easy to freeze blueberries. Spread them out on a parchment lined sheet pan in a single layer. Pop the tray in the freezer until the berries are frozen then transfer the berries to a freezer bag.
Blueberry preserves are another great way to save the taste of summer. As I’ve said in previous posts, making fruit preserves is so much easier than you might imagine. Even processing the preserves is easy to do as long as you have the proper jars and a big pot for boiling them.
For this recipe I’ve added the zest of a lemon and a little juice for hint of lemon flavor. Lemon and blueberry are always great together. The lemon juice also helps insure that the preserves are acidic enough for long term storage.
Do you have food memories? Are there moments in your life when the setting and company made the food taste even better?
Blueberry Preserves with Lemon
- 12 oz blueberries (1 pint)
- 3 tablespoons Ball Classic Pectin
- 18 oz granulated sugar (2 1/4 cups)
- 1 each lemon zest (finely grated)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Sprinkle an even layer of blueberries into the bottom of a medium saucepan. Using a potato masher or the bottom of a ladle, lightly crush the berries (it's okay if not all of the berries are crushed). Sprinkle the remaining berries in another layer and crush those. Sprinkle the pectin over the berries and stir together12 oz blueberries, 3 tablespoons Ball Classic Pectin
- Bring the berries and pectin to a boil over medium high heat. Add the sugar, zest and lemon juice. Return the mixture to a full boil and boil vigorously for 1 minute, stirring constantly.18 oz granulated sugar, 1 each lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Ladle into sterilized canning jars and process on a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
- The preserves can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks, frozen for 9-12 months or processed in canning jars to keep for one year
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Friday 13th of July 2018
I tried this recipe and it’s amazing. This is my first canning experience. Super cheap, simple and delicious. I’m super excited thanks for the recipe ❤️❤️❤️
Friday 13th of July 2018
Thanks! I just made this again the other day with blueberries from my farm share.
Sunday 27th of August 2017
The one thing I don't like is that you write the instructions assuming someone has done this before. What do you mean "process on a hot water bath for 15 min"?? How much lemon zest??
Sunday 27th of August 2017
Hi Charlie - I see you rated the recipe with 3 stars. Did you actually make the preserves or did you base the rating on the instructions? It's hard to describe every single cooking technique in every recipe because the instructions would get very long. I have to try and balance giving enough information vs. overkill.
The recipe calls for the zest of 1 lemon. Use a rasp grater to grate the yellow part of the zest off of 1 lemon. If you don't have a rasp grater you can use a vegetable peeler to peel off the zest in one big strip, which can be removed before pouring the preserves into the jars.
As far as the processing, I put a link to the Ball Canning Website in the recipe notes. The Ball website has great instructions for water bath canning. It would take more than one post to explain home canning. I linked to the experts so you can get all the relevant information there.
If you don't want to process the jars in a water bath, they will keep in the refrigerator for at least a month or you could put the preserves in a freezer container and freeze for longer term storage.