Oranges, blueberries, tomatoes and strawberries and more are at peak flavor in Florida. Here are several recipes to preserve these homegrown favorites long after the seasons are gone: Blueberry Citrus Conserve, Bruschetta in a Jar, Berry Blitz Freezer Jam and how to freeze berries with a bonus cobbler recipe.
To freeze blueberries, place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Freeze. Pour frozen berries into a sealable container. No need to defrost before using.
Makes 9 servings
3 1/2 cups fresh or 1 pound frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons each: lemon juice and melted butter
1 cup flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
3/4 cup boiling water
1. Put berries in ungreased 8-inch square baking dish. Top with cornstarch and lemon juice. Mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk and butter until combined, not smooth. Drop 9 mounds onto berries.
2. Pour boiling water on dough and fruit. Top with remaining sugar. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes.
Blueberry Citrus Conserve
Makes about 4 (8 oz) half pints
4 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 small lemon (unpeeled), seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup orange (unpeeled), seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup raisins
4 cups blueberries
4 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
1. Preparee boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2. Combine sugar and water in a large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add lemon and orange slices and raisins. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes. Add blueberries, increase heat to high and return to boil. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 5 to 10 minutes, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and test gel. If gel stage has been reached, skim off foam.
3. Ladle hot conserve into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
4. Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
Bruschetta in a Jar
Makes about 7 (8 oz) half pints
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
9 cups chopped cored plum tomatoes (about 4 lb or 12 medium)
7 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2. Combine garlic, wine, wine vinegar, water, sugar, basil, oregano and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes or until garlic is heated through. Remove from heat.
3. Pack tomatoes into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladle hot vinegar mixture over tomatoes leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
4. Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
Berry Blitz Freezer Jam
Makes about 5 (8 oz) half pints
5 Tbsp Ball RealFruit Instant Pectin
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup crushed blackberries (about 1-1/2 6-oz container)
1 cup crushed blueberries (about 2 4.4-oz container)
1 cup crushed raspberries (about 1-1/2 6-oz container)
1 cup crushed strawberries (about 1 1-lb container)
Zest of 1 small lemon
5 plastic Ball (8 oz) Freezer Jars
1. Stir sugar and instant pectin in a bowl until well blended.
2. Add blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and lemon zest. Stir 3 minutes.
3. Ladle jam into clean jars to fill line. Twist on lids. Let stand until thickened, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately, refrigerate up to three weeks or freeze up to one year.