Blueberries in Vanilla Bean Syrup
At the risk of too sounding bossy, you NEED to make these blueberries. They are ridiculously delicious. Quite possibly the best thing I have ever put in my mouth. Ever. They take a plain bowl of yogurt from ordinary to extraordinary. They make your average pancakes sing to the highest of heavens. They will make your husband fall in love with you all over again. They are insane in the canning membrane.
Because of Utah’s climate, we tend to be a month or so behind in terms of harvesting and reaching our peak time for local produce. It’s generally late August and September that I get to work in the kitchen canning and preserving what I want to enjoy this winter. I go to the farmers market weekly and determine what I want to can from what looks best. The past three weeks, I’ve been picking up the most giant, flavorful blueberries. We’ve been eating them fresh and each week that I think I’m going to make something with them, they’re gone before I get to it. Honestly, they are the most flavorful blueberries I’ve ever consumed. Thanks, Weeks Berries. Not to be outdone a third week in a row, I planned ahead and we bought an entire flat.
Jam seemed like an obvious choice to use the blueberries but because I made strawberry jam this spring and I’ll make blackberry and peach jam in the next few weeks, I wanted something different. For as much as I love jam, and I love jam, a girl can only have so much. So I got this wild hair to can the blueberries whole in a simple syrup. My thoughts were that they’d be more versatile than jam and I could use them as a topper to my oatmeal this winter. Little did I know my husband I would devour them as we have. We’ve already gone through 3 jars and at this rate we’re putting them on everything. Yogurt, waffles, pancakes, you name it. We’ve even been mixing the syrup into seltzer water for a fun little mocktail. I don’t know if they’ll make it to winter.
Just canning the blueberries in a simple syrup would have been a home run but at the last minute I decided to infuse the simple syrup with vanilla bean. It adds so much depth, the specks of vanilla bean are beautiful and the vanilla really adds a layer of almost floral like flavor this is magical poured over a stack of pancakes.
If you’ve never canned before, this is an easy and forgiving recipe to start with. But if you’re still too intimidated, simply make the blueberries and instead of canning them, store them in either the fridge and use them up within a few weeks.
Whatever you do decide, just please, make them. And roll your eyes when you eat them. And give a jar to someone you love. So they can do the same.
Have a great day!!
Blueberries in Vanilla Bean Syrup
- 3/4 cup pure cane sugar
- 3 lb fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed
- 2 vanilla beans, split open
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup apple juice
- Fill a stainless steal pot that is large enough to hold 8 half-pint mason jars without touching and will cover jars by at least two inches with water and bring to a boil. Wash and sterilize 8 half-pint mason jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use. In a separate small pan, warm lids in hot (not boiling) water to sterilize and soften seal.
- In a large sauce pan, combine sugar with water, apple juice and split vanilla beans. Bring to a Boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add blueberries and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard vanilla beans.
- Ladle the blueberries and syrup into prepared jars, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Make sure the fruit is submerged in the syrup. Use either a plastic knife or wooden skewer to dislodge any air bubbles, if necessary.
- Wipe the rims with a wet paper towel taking care to clean up any syrup they make have spilled onto the outside of the jar. Apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 28 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely, 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 3 weeks.