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The following three recipes can be made with fresh or frozen blueberries, and involve simmering the berries into a hot concentrated form as a first step.
The raspberry cordial incident in Anne of Green Gables is quite memorable, and although Anne and Dianna did not actually drink the real thing on that occasion, the name always lingered in my mind as something that would be positively delicious to sip on a hot summer afternoon. One of the first things that came to mind when I was picking blueberries was to make a “cordial” out of them. So here’s what I came up with.
About 4 cups blueberries
2 tsp fresh minced ginger
1/2+ cup raw honey
Let the blueberries and ginger simmer on the stove top for about 15 min. Press periodically with a potato masher to release the juices. Pour the berry juice into a strainer over a half-gallon pitcher, pressing the solids to get out the good stuff. (Save the berry skins for the next recipe!) Add honey and stir to dissolve. Squeeze lemons over strainer; fill pitcher with water. Taste, and add more honey or lemon juice to make it stronger. Chill.
Real Simple Blueberry Jam
This recipe is from my favourite magazine, Real Simple.
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. (Add berry solids from previous recipe, if available.) Mash berries to release juice. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, 18-25 min. Transfer to containers and refrigerate for 1 month, or freeze for up to a year.
Blueberry Vinaigrette Salad
1 cup blueberries
Simmer and mash the berries for a few minutes on the stove top. Whisk with honey and vinegar to taste. Experiment with lemon juice, olive oil, mint, etc. to achieve perfection. Chill completely in a glass bottle or measuring cup. Serve on fresh spinach with whole blueberries, almonds, and crumbled queso fresco. This latter ingredient is a mild, mozzarella-type cheese found near the cream cheese in the grocery store. It’s a great, inexpensive sub for goat or feta cheeses.