The process and ingredients of making fruit pie fillings, particularly this easy homemade blueberry pie filling is somewhat similar to making blueberry jam. The only difference, I would say is the use of cornstarch in the pie filling and pectin in the jam.
I have written quite a bit about pectin in jams in my homemade strawberry jam post here, so basically, an alternative to pectin would be lemon juice. And since I also use lemon juice in my blueberry pie filling, practically the only difference between the pie filling and the jam is the use of cornstarch in the former and none in the latter.
Pectin, Lemon Juice and Cornstarch – When to Use
Talking about lemon juice or pectin and cornstarch, pectin or lemon juice act as the gelling agents in the jams which is how jams are supposed to be. But that does not mean that the jams are thick, they are still a bit runny, but more of a gel consistency. Cornstarch, on the other hand, thickens the mixture which is ideal for pie fillings. To runny a filling will turn your pies soggy, so thicker fillings are most suited for pies.
Anyhow, even though I said lemon juice is not required for pie fillings as the gel like consistency is not required, you will notice in my recipe below that I still added some lemon juice to my blueberry pie filling. This is because the lemon juice and the lemon rind simply enhances the taste of the blueberry pie filling. So, just in case you are little confused with my explanation about the role of lemon juice in helping jams to set, the only reason I add it to my pie filling is because of the taste and nothing else.
How to Make Blueberry pie filling – Video Tutorial
Check out my video on how I made this blueberry pie filling:
The process typically starts by getting the blueberries ready. I like mine to be firm and not too ripe. That way, the fruits themselves are not too sweet and when mixed with the sugar in the recipe, the filling does not become overly sweet.
Once the fruits are all weighed, washed and drained, I add half of them into a saucepan placed over very low heat. And then I add in the sugar. I also add in the lemon juice, lemon rind and the cornstarch (mixed with water so that it does not get lumped in the blueberry mixture) at the same time and let all these ingredients simmer. As the sugar starts to dissolve, the mixture turns quite runny and the blueberries start to soften. At this stage I add in the salt and then the remaining blueberries.
I let the mixture simmer over low heat while stirring it every now and then until the mixture thickens. The pie filling is ready when the liquid in the mixture has reduced to the point that the fruits are just coated in the sugar sauce.
At this point, I remove the pie filling from the heat and let it cool completely to room temperature before storing it.
Since I always make a fresh batch when ever I need to use the filling, storing has never been an issue for me. I always just store it in a clean container in the refrigerator. But if you intend to keep them for more than a week or so, I would suggest storing them in heated jars. Simply warm your clean jars in the oven and spoon the cooled pie filling into the warmed jars and close them with their lids. Keep the filling refrigerated until it is ready to be used.
Easy Homemade Blueberry Pie Filling Recipe
Here is the full printable version of my blueberry pie filling recipe:
Easy Homemade Blueberry Pie Filling
- 210 g blueberries
- 45 g white sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ⅛ tsp lemon zest
- a pinch of salt
- Wash the blueberries and drain the water. .
- In a saucepan, add half the blueberries, sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice and let simmer over very low heat. .
- Mix cornstarch with water and add the mixture into the simmering blueberries. .
- Let the fruits soften and simmer in the sugar syrup until the sugar is completely dissolved and the fruits start to soften. Add in the salt. .
- Add in the remaining blueberries and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens. .
- Remove the blueberry filling off the heat and let it cool to room temperature before storing them in a clean container. .
- Keep the pie filling refrigerated until it is ready to be used. .
- This amount makes about 240 grams of blueberry pie filling.
And that is pretty much how I make my homemade blueberry pie filling. Try it and let me know how it goes 🙂
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