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Ask Jackie headline

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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

Jackie Clay

Q and A: blueberry syrup recipe and Jalapeño jelly

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Blueberry syrup recipe

Please share a blueberry syrup recipe. I don’t have a lot of blueberries this year because the Mockingbird enjoyed them before I got there but would like to make some syrup with what I have. I want to stop buying the syrup in the store.

Sharon King
Denham Springs, Louisiana

Sure thing, Sharon. This recipe is from my book, Growing and Canning Your Own Food. I use it myself and find it so much better than store-bought syrup.

4 quarts blueberries
12 cups water, divided
6 cups sugar
4 Tbsp. lemon juice

Rinse blueberries, drain, and crush. Combine blueberries and 4 cups water and simmer 5 minutes. Hang in damp jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth overnight or for several hours. Combine sugar and 8 cups water and boil to 230 degrees, adjusting for altitude, if necessary. Add blueberry juice to sugar syrup. Boil 10 minutes and add lemon juice. Ladle hot syrup into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe rim of jar clean; place hot, previously simmered lid on jar and screw down ring firmly tight. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. If you want a thicker syrup when serving, simply add 1 Tbsp. cornstarch to 1 cup syrup in saucepan. Bring to a boil and the syrup will thicken. Do not add cornstarch before canning this product. It thickens too much for safe canning.

I make this syrup using whole, crushed blueberries instead of just the juice; it is whole-berry flavored and very tasty if you don’t mind chunks in your syrup! Use the same proportions. — Jackie

Jalapeño jelly

I have a question about jalapeño jelly. I made a batch recently and had this great idea to put an extra jalapeño in each jar for decoration. I washed them, cut off the stem and poked a few holes in each one. I dropped them in the jar and added the hot jelly. Sealed them up and did the hot water bath for 10 minutes. Now I see that most floated to the top of the jar. Do you think this is safe or should I open them up, take the peppers out and recan?

Debra Skovbo
Hot Springs, South Dakota

Since peppers are a very low acid food, I’d probably remove the whole peppers and re-can the jelly. I’d hate for someone to become sick from eating that jalapeño that floated to the top of the jelly and it could happen. — Jackie

One Response to “Q and A: blueberry syrup recipe and Jalapeño jelly”

  1. Sharon King Says:

    Thanks very much for the recipe. Good luck with the garden. Congrats on the weather. We are still between 95 to 97 degrees.

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