Blueberry Pie Filling for Canning

Whether you’re craving a classic blueberry pie, a fruity addition to your cheesecake, or a swirl of goodness in your vanilla ice cream, this easy-to-follow blueberry pie filling recipe is perfect. Get ready to enjoy the taste of summer all year round.

2 quarts of home canned blueberry pie filling.

Homemade Blueberry Pie Filling for Canning

An easy canning recipe with minimal prep, you'll love this in cobblers, on top of cheesecakes, and swirled into vanilla ice cream. Makes 4 quarts.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Processing 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 14 cups fresh blueberries washed and drained
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup ClearJel a cornstarch derivative used for canning
  • cups cold water
  • ½ cup bottled lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions 

  • Prepare for canning: Heat your jars by boiling in a large canning pot for 10 minutes. Warm your lids in a small pot over low heat. Keep everything hot until ready to use.
  • Make the syrup: In another large pot, whisk together the sugar and ClearJel. Add the water, and whisk until smooth. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, add the lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg and return to a boil for 1 minute, continuing to stir.
    sugar syrup in saucepan.
  • Add the blueberries. Add the fruit and stir gently to mix. Return to a boil, then remove from heat. They will quickly change color from the heat in the pan, do not continue to cook!
    berries added to saucepan.
  • Fill the jars: Using a canning funnel and ladle, fill each jar with the blueberry filling, leaving a 1-inch headspace at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth. Apply the lids and screw on the rings until they are fingertip-tight.
    overhead view of blueberry pie filling in jar.
  • Process the jars: Place the jars in the canning pot, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process quart jars for 30 minutes. Remove the jars and let them cool.
    canner on stove.
  • Check the seals: Once the jars have cooled, check the seals to ensure they have properly sealed. Lids should not flex up and down when pressed in the center. Any jars that do not seal properly should be refrigerated and used first.

Notes

Store your jars in a cool, dark place. Properly canned and stored, this blueberry pie filling should maintain peak quality for 12 to 18 months.
This blueberry pie filling is safe for home canning thanks to the acidity of the lemon juice, so do not reduce it.
Always be sure to follow all safety guidelines when home canning.
When you’re ready to use the filling, simply empty the contents of one jar into a pre-baked pie crust, add a top crust if desired, and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly. Enjoy!

Oh, this blueberry pie filling recipe? It’s an absolute gem in our kitchen. Seriously, we’re all about those cozy, homey vibes, and nothing screams comfort quite like a homemade pie. We always have plenty of our favorite pie crust in the freezer, and now having pie filling ready to go was a game changer.

quart sized can of blueberry pie filling,

It’s got just the right amount of sweetness, with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg that elevates it to another level. Plus, being able to say it’s made with our very own blueberries? Even better! I hope you find it as delightful and handy as we do.

Pie Filling Tips

  • The Importance of ClearJel. ClearJel is a key ingredient in this recipe because it’s a modified cornstarch that works well with high temperatures and doesn’t break down after canning. It’s what gives the filling that perfect consistency. If you’re tempted to substitute with regular cornstarch or another thickener, resist the urge.
  • Lemon Juice. The recipe calls for bottled lemon juice, and there’s a good reason for it. Bottled lemon juice has a consistent acidity level, which is crucial for safe canning. Using fresh lemon juice might seem like a nice way to add a fresh flavor, but its acidity can vary, potentially compromising the safety of your canned filling.
  • Headspace Matters. When filling your jars, leaving the recommended 1-inch headspace is crucial. This space allows the filling to expand during the canning process without overflowing. Overfilled jars may not seal properly, which could spoil your hard work.
  • Adjustments for Altitude. If you live at a high altitude, remember to adjust your processing time. Canning times and pressures can vary based on altitude since water boils at lower temperatures the higher you go. Check a reliable canning guide or resource for specific adjustments to ensure your filling is processed safely.

Key Ingredients and Tools

In this blueberry pie filling recipe, a couple of ingredients stand out not just for their role in the recipe but also for where you might find them and possible substitutions. Here’s a closer look at them:

blueberries and other ingredients.
  • ClearJel. A cornstarch derivative used for canning, ClearJel is the thickener that ensures your pie filling has the perfect consistency. It’s not as commonly found on the shelves as regular cornstarch, but you can usually locate it in stores specializing in canning supplies or online. Its ability to withstand high temperatures and maintain consistency during canning makes it irreplaceable in this recipe. If you’re in a pinch, there’s no perfect substitute for ClearJel, especially for canning purposes, because alternatives like cornstarch, flour, or tapioca might not hold up as well through the canning and storage process.
  • Bottled Lemon Juice. This ingredient is critical for ensuring the pie filling’s safety and longevity. You can find bottled lemon juice in the condiment aisle of most grocery stores, near the vinegars and salad dressings. Its consistent acidity level is crucial for canning, making it a better choice than fresh lemon juice, whose acidity can vary.

Here are the essentials in terms of equipment:

supplies laid out on marble counter.
  • Large Canning Pot with Rack. This pot is essential for processing the jars in boiling water, which sterilizes them and seals the lids. The rack keeps the jars off the bottom of the pot to prevent breakage from direct heat.
  • Canning Jars (Quart Size), Lids, and Rings. Quart-sized jars are perfect for storing enough pie filling for a pie or other dessert. The lids and rings are crucial for creating an airtight seal that preserves the filling.
  • Canning Funnel. A canning funnel has a wide mouth that fits perfectly into the jars, making it easy to fill them with the blueberry filling without making a mess. It ensures cleanliness and efficiency, keeping the jar rims clean for a proper seal.
  • Ladle. Used in conjunction with the funnel, a ladle helps you transfer the pie filling into jars. It’s important for controlling the flow and preventing spills.

Serving Suggestions

Use to make a pie, a blueberry cobbler, or berry-topped cheesecake bars. It is also good as a topping to homemade vanilla ice cream!

Troubleshooting and Help

Can I use frozen blueberries instead of fresh ones?

Yeah, definitely. If fresh blueberries aren’t in season or just not available, frozen blueberries work fine. No need to thaw them first; you can use them straight from the freezer. Just keep an eye on the mixture, as it might need a bit longer to come to a boil.

What if I can’t find ClearJel?

Can without it and add cornstarch right before you use the filling. Do not can with cornstarch; it is not safe!

How do I know if my jars have sealed properly after canning?

After the jars have cooled, press the center of each lid. If it’s sealed, the lid won’t pop back. If it does pop, that jar hasn’t sealed correctly. You can refrigerate it and use it first. It’s a simple check but super important for ensuring your pie filling is stored safely.

If you’ve got more questions, feel free to ask.

Storing Home-Canned Pie Filling

Canning and Storing:

  • Once you’ve processed the jars in the canning pot and checked that they’ve sealed properly, you’ll want to store them in a cool, dark place. A pantry or cupboard away from direct sunlight is perfect.
  • Properly canned, the blueberry pie filling should last for 12 to 18 months without losing quality. Just make sure the seals remain intact and the lids aren’t bulging or rusting.

If You Have Leftovers:

  • Any jars that didn’t seal properly, or if you have leftovers that didn’t fit into your jars, should go into the refrigerator. Use an airtight container for this. The filling will be good for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Freezing:

If you prefer freezing or made a big batch and ran out of jars, freezing is a great option. Here’s how:

  1. Let the pie filling cool completely after cooking.
  2. Transfer the filling into freezer-safe bags or containers. If using bags, try to lay them flat in the freezer; it saves space and makes thawing easier.
  3. Leave a bit of space at the top of containers or bags because the filling will expand a bit when it freezes.
  4. You can freeze the pie filling for up to a year. When you’re ready to use it, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. After thawing, if the filling seems a bit runny, you can cook it down a bit on the stove to thicken it up before using it.

More Homemade Pie Fillings

All of these recipes are just as versatile and it it easy to create a homemade dessert.

I’ll be adding more of these this summer! them pop and you won’t be able to press down on the lid. If any don’t seal, place them in the fridge when cooled to room temp and use within a few weeks

🔍 FAQs

Can I reduce the amount of lemon juice in the recipe?

The lemon juice plays a crucial role in maintaining the acidity level necessary for safe canning. It is not recommended to reduce the amount

How can I tell if the jars have properly sealed?

After the jars have cooled, check the seals by pressing the center of the lids. Properly sealed lids should not flex up and down. Any jars that do not seal properly should be refrigerated and used first.

What is fingertip tight?

“Fingertip tight” is a term used in canning to describe the proper level of tightness when applying the canning jar lids and rings. It means that you should tighten the rings until they are comfortably snug using just your fingertips, without applying excessive force. The goal is to create a seal that is secure enough to prevent leaks during processing but not overly tight, allowing air to escape and creating a vacuum seal once the jars cool. It’s important not to overtighten the lids, as it can interfere with the sealing process.

What is fingertip tight?

“Fingertip tight” is a term used in canning to describe the proper level of tightness when applying the canning jar lids and rings. It means that you should tighten the rings until they are comfortably snug using just your fingertips, without applying excessive force. The goal is to create a seal that is secure enough to prevent leaks during processing but not overly tight, allowing air to escape and creating a vacuum seal once the jars cool. It’s important not to overtighten the lids, as it can interfere with the sealing process

Next time you find yourself with a bounty of blueberries or just craving something sweet and homemade, give this recipe a try. Happy canning, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

2 jars of pie filling in mason jars.
Blueberry Pie Filling for Canning

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