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December 5, 2010

December Can Jam.... Blueberry Maple Syrup (dried fruit)

We have arrived at our 12th Can Jam challenge... DRIED FRUIT! At first my heart lurched, what the heck would one make to can with dried fruit?? But then immediately an idea popped into my head! We've always thought it would be fun to try to add a fruit flavor (using REAL fruit of course!) to our maple syrup!! So, this is my attempt at doing just that... I added dried blueberries to maple syrup, brought it back to temp. and then re-bottled it!!  To check out our family fun of making maple syrup click here, here here or here! This has been a learning process over the past 6-7 years!

                 From the tree....

        ... to the bottles!!


Now, from the bottle to the canning jars!

First lesson for me today? READ!! When I bought the 'dried blueberries' I was sooo excited! I checked out Ocean Spray and saw the display... my how they've expanded. I found blueberries & pomegranate... BIG SCORE, or so I thought!! I discovered the day before Thanksgiving ,when I read a little closer, that the package I bought was CRANBERRIES INFUSED WITH THE JUICE FROM POMEGRANATES!!  RRRRGHHH...  Oh well, still used them in the stuffing, not bad at all! THEN TODAY, I discovered that these 'blueberries' that I was so proud to have found are really the same thing... cranberries INFUSED with REAL BLUEBERRY JUICE!!

Since this is a total experiment on my part...  the only recipe is the one I've just made up!

1 pint of PURE maple syrup
1/2 cup of Ocean Spray BLUEBERRY infused cranberries (any type of dried fruit would work)

Pour the maple syrup into a small saucepan and add the dried berries. You could add a bit more if you'd like, and definitely more if you are using more then a pint of syrup!


Bring the maple syrup to a slow boil. Using a thermometer, be sure that you reach 219*. This shouldn't take too long. It is at this point that sap becomes syrup, so since it is syrup already... it really boils pretty quickly.

I let the syrup & berries kinda meld & rest for a short time (15-30 minutes) and then brought it back to 219* and poured it into my jelly jars!

Water bath for 15 minutes and now I can't wait to use it on home made pancakes with fresh home made sausage!! YUMMY!






(AFTER I was all finished, I decided to look up online to see if there were any recipes posted... sure enough, there is. AND... much to my delight, I did it similarly to those recipes! The ones I read used fresh or frozen fruits and had to cook the water content out of it... so, there is one very good reason to use dried fruit!)

Pete's 89 year old aunt has had fun with the challenges too! Each month I'd share with her the topic to be canned and she'd come up with her ideas a few recipes too give me... it's been fun! Her ideas was to use dried apricots with the syrup. I plan to try that next! I will add a picture and update when I get it done!

This has been a wonderful year long challenge! It has been a project that the whole family has been involved in... from brainstorming to sampling! THANKS TIGRESS for coming up with such an awesome project and for all the hours of work you did each month reading the blogs and posting the round ups! God Bless!