Canning Blueberry Pie Filling

Making your own blueberry pie filling is both an economic and delicious way to enjoy blueberries. It seems like every time I go hunting for store-bought pie fillings, blueberry filling always takes 1st place for the most expensive. Why is that? :-) Because of the rising cost of these items, we try to always make our own pie fillings, except for on special occasions.

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When it comes to canning blueberries, you know that you are dealing with a fruit which means that it will need to be water-bath canned. This means you will need to own a water bath canner, as well as other canning supplies.

How many blueberries will I need to make blueberry pie filling?

Great question. Making even 1 quart of pie filling is going to take 3 1/2 cups of blueberries. If you want to make 7 quarts (a full canner "load"), than you are going to need 6 quarts of berries.

Start making blueberry pie filling

1. First you need to sift through your berries and wash them. Since this recipe requires fresh blueberries, you will probably have some dirt or stem/leaf debris mixed in with the berries. Even more so if you pick them yourself. Simply rinse them in cold water in a strainer, picking out any debris or leaf pieces you find along the way. Also make sure to pick out any mushy, rotting berries you find. There is no need to dry them, since you will be using them immediatly for your pie filling.

2. Place your berries in a large soup pot filled with enough water to cover the berries. The ratio here should be 6 cups of berries at a time to 1 gallon of water.

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Boil your water first, and then place the berries in. Once the water "adjusts" to the berries and returns to a full boil, boil for 1 minute.

Drain the blueberries in a strainer and keep them covered to keep them warm while you're making the liquid for the blueberry pie filling.

3. Measure 1/4 C. + 1 Tbsp. clear jel starch with 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp of sugar in a large pot. (NOTE: Clear jel starch is not the same as fruit pectin!) Add 1 cup water or blueberry juice and stir well. Heat and stir it until it starts to bubble and is thick. At this point, add 3 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, stirring constantly to prevent burning.

4. Add your berries to the liquid mixture. Fold in very gently, as you don't want to crush your blueberries.

blueberry pie filling

5. Using your canning funnel, pour your hot filling into hot, sterilized jars. Leave 1/2 inch headspace. It is very important that your jars are actually hot, or you run the risk it actually breaking right there on the counter. You can do this by pouring boiling water into your jars just before you fill them, or you can run them through the dishswasher. Just make sure that they are warm enough to see steam coming out of them.

6. Wipe the rims of your jars with a wet paper towel or rag. (Make sure that your towel or rag is clean, of course!) This is a vital step of the canning process. If you don't do this, you will leave sticky residue on the rims of the jars, which will almost always result in lid failure later on.

blueberry pie filling

Place lids and rims on your jars, and place in a water bath canner. Your water bath canner should already be about 1/2 to 3/4 full of water; just enough to cover the tops of your jars within 2 inches. Turn your burner onto high heat and bring the water to a boil. Once you can see it has come to a boil, start your processing time for 30 minutes. Of course, adjust this time for your specific alititude, as this is relative to 1,000 feet above sea level.

7. Once you have finished processing your blueberry pie filling, carefully remove your jars from the canner and place them on a tea towel or cooling rack. Do not disturb them for about 24 hours, as they need time to cool down, settle, and seal properly.

8. You now have a beautiful blueberry pie filling! Save it for a future pie, give it away as a gift, or set it on your counter as deocoration.

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