I love making this easy homemade blueberry pie filling. This delicious fruit filling is so versatile, you can use it not only for pies, but also for tarts and cakes and even eat it on its own! What is more, it is so easy to make, you will get hooked to making your own pie fillings every time.
The process and ingredients of making fruit pie fillings, particularly this 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 blue berry 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.
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.
Way before I started making my own pie filings, I used to find it very convenient to buy ready made ones from the stores. But now, since I make my own, I will never go back to the store bought ones. When making your own, you get to not only adjust the taste to suit your liking, you can also make them to the consistency you want. I like the fruits in my pie filling to not be too soft and also like them to be fully packed with fruits instead of the sauce, and I can only achieve this by making my own pie fillings. Plus, it is so easy to make them, I have gotten hooked into making my own pie fillings and jams ever since I tried for the first time.
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.
Here is the full printable version of my blueberry pie filling recipe:
And that is pretty much how I make my homemade blueberry pie filling. Hope you will try this and let me know how it goes :)
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