July is National Blueberry Month! Did you know that blueberries are the official state fruit here in New Jersey? Yes, the sandy soil in the southern part of our state is perfect for growing these jewels of deliciousness. When the local grocery store runs a sale on flats of blueberries, you know it’s time to make this delicious blueberry conserve. -E
Blueberry Cardamom Conserve
10 pints fresh blueberries (divided)
6 T. balsamic vinegar
3 and 1/3 Cups sugar (divided)
1 and 1/2 boxes Sure-Jell Low Sugar powdered pectin (pink box)
peel of 1 lemon (yellow part only, no pith)
2 grams cardamom seeds
- Place 6 pints of blueberries in a large (6 qt or larger) Dutch oven or nonreactive pot. Crush with a potato masher.
- Add the balsamic vinegar.
- Measure out 3 cups of sugar and set aside.
- Measure out 1/3 cup sugar in a separate bowl. To this, add 1.5 packages of Sure-Jell (2.6 oz of powder). Mix until blended, then slowly add the mix to the blueberries, stirring so that no lumps form.
- To the blueberry mixture, add the peel of 1 lemon, yellow part only, no pith.
- Measure out 2 grams of cardamom seeds in a tea sachet or pocket of cheesecloth and tie as you would a bouquet garni. Add to pot,
- Let the blueberry mix “rest” for 20 minutes. Then stir in the 3 cups of sugar.
- On high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove cardamom packet and lemon peel.
- Add 4 additional pints of blueberries. Stir gently and bring to a 2nd rolling boil. Boil 1 minute only.
- Pack in hot jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
Yield: 12 (4 oz.) jars or 6 (8 oz.) jars.
I find that the use of a small kitchen scale does come in handy for this recipe.
To make the bouquet garni, place the cardamom seeds in a paper “Tea-Sac” and tied with kitchen twine. You may find that cheese cloth is more handy. Be sure to use triple layers as the seeds may escape into your berries!
BONUS: You may find that you have an excess amount of syrupy mix left in the pot after the jars are packed. I found that this makes a delicious pancake syrup or a special addition to your favorite lemonade. Bottle it up and give to friends! I found some attractive bottles at Sur La Table.
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