Blueberry Pucker Conserve


This little experiment for the June Can Jam was one of the only times that I’ve taken a spoonful of preserves and thought, “By God! I’ve got it!” This is a mixture of blueberries, apricots, lemons, and walnuts, and it’s just about perfect. It’s a “conserve” rather than a “jam” or a “marmalade” in that it has more than one kind of fruit in it (“con-”) and that the texture is more of a preserve than a jam (soft with little pieces of fruit in it). Like most of my jams, this one doesn’t have pectin in it, so the texture may vary. At first I thought I had merely created sauce, but within a few hours it started to set. At this point it’s still loose, but definitely firm enough to eat on a cracker. When you eat it, the first taste is blueberries, pure and simple, but it leaves a wonderful lemon sensation in your mouth. You can’t really taste the apricots per se, except that it’s sort of floral. You’ll just have to try it for yourself and see.

I used individually quick frozen blueberries because I still had a couple of bags in the freezer from last year and have yet to make it over to New Jersey to pick this year’s batch. No changes if you’re using fresh.

Finally, about the nuts. Nuts are a low acid food, but the blueberries and lemons are acidic enough to make this safe. I based on this a published recipe that I have now misplaced. I don’t remember the specifics except that it included raisins, more nuts, and probably more sugar. I’m therefore very confident that this is fine for water bath canning, nuts and all. If you want to be on the safe side, give it another 5 minutes in the water bath.

Blueberry Pucker Conserve

6 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
4 cups sugar
3/4 c coarsely chopped walnuts
About 12 dried apricots, chopped
2 lemons

1) Slice your lemons as thin as possible, removing any seeds, like this:


Now run your knife across them a couple of times to make strips. If you’d like, you could remove the pulp from the peel and trim out the pith, but I never bother (and besides, the pith provides needed pectin).

2) Toss everything in a pot, stir, and turn on medium heat. Add just a splash or two of water to make thing moist, then stir gently until the blueberries start to break down, the sugar melts, and you have a sauce, like so:


Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil for the water bath and sterilize your jars. I needed 5 half pint jars (actually, 4 half pints and 2 4-oz jars, but who’s counting?).

3) Bring the blueberry mix to a boil and cook rapidly to the gelling point, approximately 20 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it—it will foam.

4) Transfer the hot conserve to the hot jars and adjust two-piece lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Want one? Leave a comment by Sunday, July 4, at noon.

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24 comments to Blueberry Pucker Conserve

  • this looks wonderful!

    regarding nuts: i always understood that because they are dried, they would not pose any risk of hosting botulism spores.

  • Blueberries are on in Maryland and I’m looking forward to making this sometime this week. Mmmm! Thanks for sharing.

  • dorisandjilly

    Tigress: Interesting logic, but I’m not sure I agree. First, spores are sturdy, and I don’t see why drying would particularly hurt them. The bigger issue, though, isn’t about the nuts themselves but the rest of the preserves. When you lower the acid content (raise the pH) above a certain point, you create an environment in which botulism and other nasties can thrive. But in this case, it’s just a handful of nuts in a very acidic environment (blueberries AND lemons), so I’m not terribly concerned. Anyway: we both agree it’s safe!

  • Daisy Mae

    This sounds really yummy. I really love the blueberry and lemon combination. I just made a Blueberry Sunshine Jelly – which is blueberries, lemons, and lemon balm.

  • I think this is safe and would love a jar! However I agree that nuts can be an issue and have to be used carefully. Not only are they low acid but they are also oily.

    -Robin

  • Yum! I made a whole whack of strawberry jam yesterday – but now this is getting me in the blueberry mood. Mmmm.

  • I’ve had that “Eureka!” moment with all 3 of my blueberry offerings for Can Jam, this month! Blueberries must be tres inspiring. :-) I haven’t used nuts yet in my canning, but you’re giving me confidence. This sounds so elegant!

  • ooh, ooh! Pick me! We enjoyed every drop of your blueberry jam from last year. Hope to taste the “wonderful lemon sensation”!

  • Doris, sorry to muck up your comments for the giveaway (by leaving two), but I thought I’d chime in about the nuts/pH thing.

    @Tigress (and anyone interested): I just scanned through email messages from Eugenia Bone, here’s what she had to say about nuts and dried fruit in jars: “You can add nuts and dried fruits safely, but the processing times will change (ie, it takes longer for heat to penetrate a walnut than it does grape jelly).”

    Adding this to the table of knowledge…

  • Holly

    Pretty pretty please with blueberry pucker conserve on top!

  • Mimi

    Ooooh, I’d love one! Thanks!

  • Ha! I was thinking of adapting The Goats’ lazy marmalade methods with blueberries! You beat me to it!

    I will try the strawberry marmalade with goat cheese; sounds great!

    By the way, I gave one of those jars to a neigbour, who said they’d never tasted better preserves – kudos!

  • Those look delicious.

    As for tomatoes – I went out and measured my plants this morning.

    I have two varieties of small tomatoes, and both were started from seeds I’d saved from the previous year so I don’t have a perfect guarantee that they’ll breed true.

    I have 2 mini roma tomatoes (Juliet) that have reached 15″ and one at just 7″

    And thing the grape tomatoes are up to 10″, 16″, and 19″

  • Janet

    I want one. I’d put it over lemon sorbet or lemon ricotta pancakes–conserve should never be wasted on crackers. I usually don’t like nuts as they interfere with the texture, but I do put them (slivered almonds)in amaretto-peach preserves. (Happy to share that recipe if you like)

  • Sounds great. I’d love to try some.

  • Blueberries are my favorite berries of the summer. I was excited to see NJ berries in my local supermarket. We are now vacationing in North Carolina and finding wonderful berries here as well. I plan to pick plenty in the next few weeks at Solebury Orchards in Bucks County and make jam so thanks for the recipe. If you have been to our blog lately (we have been much better about updating)you will notice that Dan loves walnuts so even though blueberries are not as high on his list as they are on mine the walnuts will be add to the appeal.

  • Now this jam sounds good, real good.

  • Sounds yummy, I’d love to have a jar!

  • Hi Doris! Just poking around on here (we’re about to go to Moods to pick peaches) and so want to make this! Then I realized that the recipe called for dried apricots….do you think that I could use fresh? I picked up a bag when I was out the other day.

    Thanks!
    Colleen

  • dorisandjilly

    Colleen: Sure! I guess I’d use 2 cups, and since the dried ones are sweeter, maybe another 1/2 c. of sugar. Happy picking!

  • WOW this sound delish! I can’t wait to try it – I froze a bunch of blueberries, I may have to take them out already!

  • Just finished making this with my berries from Solebury Orchards. It is delicious. I think I may have to make another batch soon. Thanks

  • Sheila

    Howdy,

    IF I can’t get my hands on organic apricots do you have another fruit you could recommend in their place? Thank you – sounds yummy.

  • dorisandjilly

    Sheila: you might try dried peaches or raisins. Or you could just leave them out.

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