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If you like to make pies, you should try making homemade pie filling. It is really easy. Last year I made cherry pie filling for the first time and I really like how it turned out. It was my first time using Clear Jel to can homemade pie filling and I love the results. Clear Jel is similar to cornstarch, but is made especially for canning, resulting in a clear, smooth pie filling.
To make 3 quarts of blueberry pie filling you will need:
- 12 c. blueberries
- 2 1/4 c. sugar
- 3/4 c. plus 3 tbsp. Clear Jel*
- 3 c. water
- 3 tbsp. fresh or bottled lemon juice
*Note: I have never been able to find Clear Jel at the store, you will probably have to purchase it at Amazon.. It is not recommended to can with cornstarch, so Clear Jel is used in its place. There are several different kinds of Clear Jel. The Ultra Jel I have linked to at Amazon you can use to thicken cold or hot liquids. Regular Clear Jel only works on hot liquids. You can use either one for this recipe.
It is necessary to blanch the blueberries before canning them. First wash and rinse the blueberries in a colander. Next place the blueberries in a big pot of boiling water, and boil them for one minute. It is best not to boil them all at one time, so you can divide them in half and blanch 6 cups at a time. Place the berries back in the colander while you prepare the rest of the pie filling.
Mix the sugar and Clear Jel together in a large pot. Pour in the water. Heat until the mixture thickens and boils, stirring constantly. Add the lemon juice.
Gently stir the blueberries into the thickened liquid. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water. If it is too thin, add some more Clear Jel. There is no exact science to this. The mixture will thicken very quickly when it heats so if it is too thick it is fine to add some water to it. You just want it to be approximately the same consistency as store bought pie filling.
Pour the pie filling into three sterilized quart jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Wipe the mouths of the jars with a clean damp towel, and put the lids and rings on the jars. Process the jars in a boiling water canner for 30 minutes.
Remove the jars from the boiling water canner and let them set on a towel on the kitchen counter until the jars are cool and all lids have sealed. These jars can be stored in your pantry for a year or more.
One quart of pie filling makes 1 blueberry pie.
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