Over two years ago my father gave me all his canning equipment. I finally got around to using the equipment this week. I bought myself a new cookbook for canning inspiration and was very excited to make the cover recipe. I made the Blues and Bay recipe from The River Cottage Preserves Handbook. As it is blueberry season, it was perfect timing. I had a lovely time blueberry picking but had to cut it short because someone had cranky pants. I did pick just enough for this recipe. I hope to make it back out to pick if this insane heat ever subsides.
Please keep in mind that this was a first time attempt at canning and I really don’t know what I am doing. I do know how to read and follow a recipe so I did just that. It seemed way easier than it should be which leads me to believe that I did something wrong.
I was excited by this recipe because of the combination of blueberries and bay leaf, something I would not think to put together. I really wish this recipe had a yield. The amount of berries filled 4 jars but the amount of liquid only filled 2. I did spill some liquid and maybe I could have fit more berries into fewer jars but I did not want to smoosh the berries. The recipe said not to smoosh, actually “Pack them firmly, without crushing”.
I was eager to try out the fruits of my labor and was not disappointed. We enjoyed this canned fruit with some fresh homemade chevre. It was also delicious with coconut pancakes and later enjoyed with vanilla ice cream. The liquid was watery, not sure if it is supposed to be that way. The recipe said to make a “fruit syrup” but not how much to reduce it by or how long too cook it. I am excited to try out the other jars and see if the bay leaf flavor intensifies. My first attempt was not a totally success or failure but it was a delicious start.