blueberries are in season and you've had your fill of eating them out of
hand, try making this delicious homemade Blueberry Sauce. It's full of
blueberries in a thick bluish purple sauce, and its tangy sweet flavor makes it
an excellent accompaniment to pancakes, waffles, crepes, ice cream, stirred
into plain yogurt, spread on your morning toast, or even as a filling or topping for cakes.
Blueberry Sauce can be made with either fresh or frozen blueberries it's a
recipe that can be made year round. It's easy to make and I like how
it can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week. If using fresh
blueberries check the underside of the container for any wet spots or
staining. Discard any soft, moldy, or crushed berries and remove any
stems. The blueberries are cooked with water, salt, sugar (sweetens the
fruit plus acts as a thickener), plus cornstarch (cornflour) which also
helps to thicken the sauce. For flavoring I've added a little ground
cinnamon and vanilla extract although you can leave them out. When cooking
the sauce there are a few factors that affect cooking time - your pot, the
temperature setting, and how thick you want the sauce to be. If you like
your sauce to be a little runny, it will need a shorter cooking time than
if you want a really thick sauce. Once cooked a little lemon juice is
added, which helps with thickening the sauce plus it perks up the flavor
of the blueberries. The finished sauce does contain some whole
blueberries, so if you want a smoother sauce, simply blend or process the
sauce until smooth.
Blueberries belong to the genus Vaccinium and are related to the bilberry,
cranberry, huckleberry, hurtleberry, saskatoon, and whortleberry. This
round, smooth-skinned, dark blue, sweet and juicy berry with a dusty white
bloom, is native to North America and has been cultivated commercially
since the early 1900's. The cultivated blueberries are up to four times as
large as the wild blueberries and are available from late May to late
September. Most of the blueberries sold in grocery stores are cultivated.
When choosing blueberries look for firm, plump, fragrant, dark blue
berries with a dusty white bloom. The white bloom is the blueberry's
natural protection against the sun and is a sign of freshness.
Recipe: Place the sugar,
cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and water in a medium sized saucepan and stir until
smooth. Gently stir in the blueberries and place the saucepan over medium heat. Cook
(simmer) the sauce until the liquid thickens and becomes clear,
stirring occassionally (about 10 minutes). (Some of the blueberries will break
down but others will remain whole.) (The longer you cook the sauce the thicker
it will become.)
Remove from heat
and stir in the
vanilla extract, if using, and the lemon
zest and juice. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed. Let cool and then
cover and refrigerate for up to a week.
Makes about 3 cups
(720 ml). Preparation time 15 minutes.
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