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Recipes: Catherine’s Pickled Blueberries

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Have you tried Blue Bell’s Red, White and Blue ice cream? It is a slightly different take on the old-fashioned Neapolitan ice cream which is made up of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors.

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Just before the 4th of July, Blue Bell substituted blueberry ice cream for the chocolate to promote a patriotic ice cream for the Independence Day celebration. It has been a great hit – so much so, that after having my first serving of it today, I came straight home and picked a quart of blueberries from my three bushes.

If you have fresh blueberries available, you may want to make Catherine’s pickled blueberries. This recipe makes six 8 ounce jars. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 3 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 1½ cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 quarts fresh blueberries, washed and picked over
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Directions

  1. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice berries onto the center of an 8 inch square piece of cheesecloth. Gather together the edges of the cheesecloth, and tie with kitchen twine to secure.
  2. Place spice sachet into a large saucepan and pour in the vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir blueberries into the vinegar; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. As the blueberries heat, gently shake the pot. Do not stir to avoid breaking the berries. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.
  4. Pour berries and liquid into a colander set over a bowl. Remove spice sachet.
  5. Transfer berries to hot, sterilized canning jars; reserve the liquid. Return liquid to saucepan and place over high heat.
  6. Stir in the white and brown sugars; bring to a boil. Boil until thickened, about 4 minutes.
  7. Ladle hot syrup over berries, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with sterilized lids; screw on rings.
  8. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot.
  9. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars.
  10. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 15 minutes.
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