It’s wild blueberry season in Nova Scotia!
Last weekend we visited the Alderney Landing Farmers Market on the Dartmouth waterfront where they take Nova Scotia blueberry season very seriously – they give out free blueberry pancakes to hungry market-goers every Saturday morning in August! We were joined by Angus Bonnyman, a 3rd generation wild blueberry farmer from the Tatamagouche area, to talk about the beauty of wild, no-spray blueberries, and to help promote his wild blueberry U-pick next weekend. (you can check out their facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/NSWildBlueberries for more information).
Now, everybody loves blueberries, right? Blueberry pie, blueberry crumble, blueberry jam… These are the things that we usually think of first when we think of blueberries in the kitchen. That’s why I thought I’d mix things up a bit and offer the folks at the market a taste of wild blueberry chutney. We served our samples at the market with a little bit of feta on crackers, which resulted in a nice sweet/salty contrast. This chutney would be a great way to add flavour and antioxidants to all kinds of savoury dishes… think of pork tenderloin glazed with blueberry chutney, or melted brie with blueberry chutney in puff pastry….
For those who had more of a blueberry sweet tooth, Angus brought along some samples of his Aunt Muriel’s Blueberry cake – but you’ll have to go to him directly for that family recipe!
4 cups diced peeled tart cooking apples
4 cups blueberries
2 cups finely chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp pickling salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup white vinegar
1 tsp grated lemon zest
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Prepare canner, jars and lids.
- In a large pot, combine apples, blueberries, onions, garlic, sugar, ginger, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes or until onions are translucent and mixture is thickened to a jammy consistency. Stir in lemon zest and juice.
- Ladle hot chutney into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary by adding hot chutney. Wipe rim and place hot lid disc on jar. Screw band down until fingertip-tight.
- Place jars in canner and return to a boil. Process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let stand for at least four hours on a towel-lined surface. Check lids and refrigerate any jars that aren’t sealed.
Yours in food,