A few weeks ago, I entered a recipe contest with Wish Farms blueberries, and to my surprise I took home second place with my Blueberry and Fig Quinoa Salad. I won a conference pass to the Food Wine Conference, a cash prize and a flat of blueberries. A flat equals 12 pints. TWELVE pints. That’s a lot of blueberries. So I set aside a Saturday afternoon and dug in. I made blueberry stuff. So much blueberry stuff that Mr. Beet and I just about turned into Violet Beauregard from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Upon learning of my plans to work through all 12 pints, many asked why I don’t just freeze most of them for later use. Well, that’s no fun. That’s the easy way out. Well OK, I didn’t use all 12 pints. I only used 6, and yes, I froze the rest. Sorry to bust your blueberry bubble.
So, what did I make? Well the first thing I made was a Vanilla Blueberry Sauce. Fruit sauce is so versatile, I made a batch and kept in the fridge. Over the course of the next few days, I used it on ice cream, pancakes and buttered tortillas.
There is just something comforting about a homemade fruity sauce. It’s something you find in a mason jar at the store of a local farm, or at a small Mom and Pop breakfast restaurant. It’s heartier than maple syrup, richer than a fruit gravy and way more interesting than just plain fruit.
I had never made a fruit sauce before, I was so surprised at how easy it is. If you can boil water you can make fruit sauce as that is basically all there is to it, well there is a little more to it, but not much. And it doesn’t begin and end with blueberries. You can make this with raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, or pitted cherries, even peaches. I added orange zest as optional in the recipe. Depending on what you are using the sauce for, you may prefer a little orange flavoring, particularly on pancakes. Lemon zest will work well also.
- 2 pints fresh blueberries, washed and stems picked
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- zest from one orange, optional
- Mix the cornstarch with 3 tbsp water. Set aside.
- Add the blueberries, water and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally.
- Stir the cornstarch mixed with water into the blueberries. Add the orange zest, if using. Simmer about 15 minutes, as the sauce will begin to thicken.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Sauce can be served immediately, or stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.**
When reheating the sauce, be careful not to overheat and burn. Microwave on 50% power or heat in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat.
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