Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Blueberry picking in summer ...

I've been reading some lovely posts about blueberrying recently over at gardenmama and SouleMama and hearing the lovely things they do with them - blueberry buttermilk cake anyone?!  It's bought back memories from January this year when we went blueberry picking at a local blueberry farm.  I had never picked blueberries before, in fact I had never seen a blueberry bush, and although the day wasn't quite as sunny and carefree as pictured in the above two posts (in fact it was freezing - we got there very early, it was drizzling with rain and we were higher up the hill than we though) we had a great time and picked a whole bunch of blueberries.  It was great picking for the whole family because there were ripe berries at all different heights so none of us was left wanting and even Cassia at 3 was able to pick a lot.  We picked about 5 kilos (10 pounds) in just over an hour and they were quarter of the price of the little punnets available at the supermarket - and of course it goes without saying they were much, much tastier!

Lots were in our tummies before we left the farm, some were made into blueberry muffins that afternoon and a blueberry pie was baked shortly thereafter.  Still more were frozen for using during the winter - delicious gently cooked up to top a bowl of steaming porridge - and the rest were used to make blueberry relish.  It is so delicious, in fact that probably needs more emphasise - IT IS DELICIOUS!!!! In fact, although it's a relish recipe I also use it like jam.  I find the sweetness of jam soon becomes too much for me but this is just right, of course it's great with meats, cheeses, thrown into bolognaise sauces.  In fact the only limit to its uses is the fact that I only have one unopened jar left!!!!

The last remaining jar of bluebbery relish - don't you just love the Maia made label?!

And so the recipe:


1 kg blueberries
500g sugar
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ginger (instead of cayenne as stated in recipe)
1/2 tsp mixed spice (instead of allspice as stated in recipe)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

Roughly chop 1/2 a lemon's rind and together with pips tie up in a little muslin parcel
Put everything in large pot
Stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved
Bring to boil
Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for 50-55 minutes or until relish is thick and syrupy
Spoon immediately into clean warm jars and seal
Turn jars upside down for 2 minutes and then invert and cool
Label and date
Store for up to 12 months
Refrigerate after opening and keep for 6 weeks (it won't last that long let me tell you!)

This made 3 jam jars full plus a bit leftover to eat straight away.

Now I just have to be patient for the next 5 months until we can go picking again! x


Lola Nova said...

Our Chooks have eaten all the blueberries within pecking distance which hasn't left much for us. I think next year we shall go to a farm and pick big bunches for...relish, pancakes, muffins, smoothies, cakes, porridge. Oh, now I can't wait!

Claire said...

I'm getting excited at the ripening blueberries on our bush right now, but there's no-where near enough for that recipe. I may have to invest in some more bushes :)

ecoMILF said...

oh goodness will be bookmarking this for the summer months, although blueberries are harder to come by in australia. xo m.