Blueberry Pie Filling — For Canning

blueberry cut -AYield: two pint jars, which is enough for one 9″ pie. To make more than that, multiply all ingredients by the number of jars you intend to make. If you are making more than two pints, be sure you use a sauce pan large enough to hold all the berries and bring them to a boil.

Ingredients –  Blueberry Pie Filling

8 cups whole blueberries
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Pomona’s Pectin powder
¼ cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons calcium water

Directions — Blueberry Pie Filling

1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.

2. Wash and remove stems from blueberries.

3. Measure sugar into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sugar. Set aside.

4. Measure blueberries into a large sauce pan. Add lemon juice and calcium water and mix gently.

5. Bring blueberry mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sugar mixture, stirring gently for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the mixture comes back up to a boil. Once the mixture returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

5. Funnel into clean, hot pint jars, leaving 1” of headspace. Wipe the rims, put on hot lids, tighten the rings to finger-tip tight, place in boiling water-bath canner, and boil for 15 minutes at sea level. Add 1 minute more for every 1,000 feet above sea level. Remove jars from canner and set on counter to cool. When completely cool, check seals; lids should be sucked down. Use within 1 year.

Important Note About Processing Time: The USDA and the National Center for Home Food Preservation have not yet established a safe processing time for quart jars of pie filling made with pectin. That is why we say to can this pie filling in pint jars. 

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You may also like: Apple Pie Filling or Cardamom Peach Pie Filling.

For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.

Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.

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16 thoughts on “Blueberry Pie Filling — For Canning

  1. Just wondering why you need an inch of headspace? Normally, fruits are canned with a half inch of headspace and jams with a quarter inch.

    Also, just a comment, I also tried this with raspberries, and it jelled up way more than I’d intended. I wanted it more like a sauce to pour over pancakes and add to yogurt. So next time I’ll try it with half as much pectin.

    • Dear Jamila,
      The USDA and the National Center for Home Food Preservation in the US call for 1″ up to 1 1/2″ of headspace for pie fillings in pint jars. They say that pie fillings tend to expand quite a bit in the water bath and you need that much room to prevent leakage. We think: better safe than sorry.

      And yes, for a sauce-like consistency you would use 1/3 to 1/2 the amount of pectin as called for in a jam recipe for that fruit. I recently made a variety of sauces and used a scant 1/2 amount for the best result. All of the other ingredients in the recipe remain the same.

      As you are likely aware, it is also fine to halve or quarter recipes if you want a smaller amount of sauce.

    • Hello Jenna,
      You could try using the Blueberry Pie Filling recipe for Cherry Pie Filling. We haven’t tried it ourselves and haven’t heard back yet from others asking about doing the same thing, but we think it should work.

      With sour cherry you won’t need the lemon juice and you may want to add a little more sugar like 1 1/2 cups up to 2 cups at the most.

      If you do it, we would greatly appreciate hearing a report back from you as to the outcome!

  2. Tried this for the first time tonight…. I got 3 pints instead of 2, and I’m pretty sure I measured correctly. This recipe is different from any other I’ve tried for canned pie filling, first with the large amount of berries and second without adding much water. I’m really looking forward to how it turns out! I’m hoping it will be a delicious, intense blueberry flavor. Pomona’s has never disappointed me.

    • Hi Meredith,
      That is interesting that you got 3 pints instead of 2. Maybe you had quite large blueberries?

      Any feedback you’d care to give us when you make the pie would be greatly appreciated! I made the pie in the picture with the recipe, and it was delicious.

      Also, happy to hear that Pomona’s has never disappointed — look forward to hearing from you again.

        • Hi Gwyneth,
          Thanks for sharing your experience with this recipe and blackberries with us.

          We’re thinking it’s possible, if your blackberries were large, that the final result could be 3 pints. This is our best guess as to why the discrepancy.

          I hope you’re happy with the pie filling otherwise, and thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin.

  3. Could I use the blueberry pie filling right away to make a pie without canning it first? I ask because I have not been successful in getting fruit pies to jell using cornstarch or tapioca. Based on Annemarie’s comment and your response, I wonder if I could use Pomona’s Pectin instead, for any fruit pie. I usually use fresh fruit, so how would I proceed? Thanks so much.

    • Dear MaryLouise,

      You can use our Blueberry Pie Filling recipe to make a cooked pie filling that you put into a pie crust (when you think the filling is cool enough) and bake. You may want to pre-bake the crust somewhat as the pie filling will be pre-cooked and the pie won’t take as long as a fresh pie to bake.

      On the other hand, you could try making a fresh blueberry pie using Pomona’s Pectin as the thickener.

      In a large bowl you would mix:
      8 cups blueberries (washed & stemmed)
      1/4 cup lemon juice
      2 teaspoons calcium water

      In a smaller bowl you would mix:
      1 cup sugar
      1 teaspoon Pomona’s Pectin powder
      (mix the sugar & the pectin together VERY WELL)

      Add the sugar-pectin mix to the large bowl of blueberries and stir well to coat the blueberries with the sugar-pectin.

      Put the bowl of blueberry mixture into a pie crust and bake.

      Pie-making is not our expertise so we are not exactly sure how this will work but it seems worth a try.

      If you, or anyone else out there reading this, makes a fresh pie with this method, we would love to hear how it worked out. Emailing info@pomonapectin.com would be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin and we hope to hear how it goes.

    • Hi Melinda,
      Every purchase of Pomona’s Pectin comes with calcium powder and directions for making calcium water with the calcium powder. Pomona’s Pectin is different from other pectins in that it jells in the presence of calcium rather than needing a large amount of sugar to jell. That is why our recipes include the addition of calcium water. Fruits sometimes have calcium in them naturally, but it’s not possible for us to know about any particular fruit.

      We haven’t actually made the pie filling with strawberries, but it is likely it would work. You wouldn’t need to add the lemon juice unless you want to for the flavor. Also, you should cut the strawberries into pieces in order to be sure to get some juice. You would use the same amounts of calcium water and pectin.

      If you do give it a try with strawberries, we’d love to hear your results.

    • Hello Amy,
      Yes, the Blueberry Pie Filling recipe should work with blackberries. If your blackberries are sweet be sure to include the lemon juice for safe canning. If they are sour, you can omit the lemon juice.

      Good luck with it — and thanks for using Pomona’s.

  4. Someone told me that I could use the pectin as thickening for pie. I freeze or can cherries, blueberries, strawberries, etc. I let the fruit thaw and drain off the liquid which I then thicken – mix the fruit back into the thickened juice and put it in a pre-baked pie shell. Since some in the family have corn allergies the pectin would be a great substitute. Thank you!

    • Hi Annamarie,
      To use Pomona’s to thicken the juice for the pie (as you describe you make it), you could put 1/2 teaspoon calcium water into the drained off liquid (at least 1/2 cup), stir well, and bring to a boil. Then stir into the boiling liquid 1/8 cup sugar into which you have thoroughly mixed 1/2 teaspoon pectin powder. Stir vigorously to dissolve the pectin. If you want to add more than 1/8 cup sugar you could add it to the liquid once the pectin is dissolved.

      You would add the pectin-juice mixture to the fruit and put it in the pre-baked pie shell.

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