Unique, interesting, and intriguing on the palate, these Pickled Blueberries are a Spring | Summer treat! Very different than a standard blueberry, pickling a blueberry not only preserves the beauty of this superfood, it adds a tartness with malt vinegar infused with herbs and spices, enhancing the berries flavor profile. This pickling liquid brings sour | salt | spice to the sweet berry, creating more complexity and depth of flavor.
Many vegetables are pickled. We all know the pickle, the cucumber that over time becomes a burger condiment. Yet we don’t see many fruits | berries that are pickled. I’ve pickled many different things including Malt Pickled Red Onions, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja Pickled Cherries, Malt Vinegar Pickled Brown Mustard Seeds, Pickled Fennel In Pear Vinegar and Spices and more. Pickling is a wonderful way to capture the flavors of the season, to highlight them, preserve them, and use them later in the year. Try adding these Pickled Blueberries to a cheese plate, on morning pancakes, served alongside a charcuterie platter, in a salad, in a cocktail, used as a garnish for a wild game dish, roasted duck breast or sprinkle a few over a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream, just to give you a few ideas on how to use them. And the berries aren’t the only part of this recipe to use… The resulting blueberry infused spiced vinegar is a great addition to a salad dressing, sauce, or drizzle over game | fowl. These pickled berries have been used at some of my past beer dinners. I like to have them around during the offseason to add their deliciousness to a snack or dish.
To make these preserved blueberries both savory and sweet, with the sour, I came up with a mixture of different herbs and spices to be able to use them in multiple different culinary applications. Coriander, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, and bay leaves are pretty common ingredients. I like to add Szechuan peppercorns to give a slight mouth numbing tingle to these blueberries, along with the heat of fresh ginger root. Malt vinegar is my vinegar of choice as it has a wonderful balance of tart to sweet, yet stout and blueberries are a wonderful combination too (ever see a Blueberry Stout?!?!). Use this recipe as a template. Below, I have some recipe variations.
Instead of making blueberry jam or muffins, try making a pint | quart | gallon of these beautiful and super tasty Pickled Blueberries. At the peak of the season, blueberries are at their cheapest, making this recipe very inexpensive to make and add to the pantry. They make a great gift idea, a tasty treat for a potluck, summer get together or celebration feast. The art and science of pickling have been around for centuries and generations. It further shows the vastness of culinary science and ingenuity, to preserve a perishable ingredient for later use.
To learn more about pickling check out all of my Pickling Recipes page. See below the recipe for other recipe variations, to mix up this recipe.
Makes: 1 pound