BLOOMFIELD, NJ — The Garden State is the fifth largest producer of blueberries in the United States, but most people limit their blueberry experience to muffins or tossed atop breakfast cereals. Blueberries are at their peak in farmers markets from around Independence Day through mid-August, but many Jersey Fresh farmers markets still have local berries.
This blueberry balsamic sauce with maple is perfectly suited for turning an ordinary frozen pound cake slice into something that celebrates the best of summer.
Given the season, fresh blueberries were used for this recipe and photograph, but the store bought frozen variety work equally well for those times of the year when fresh are not available. We even had a go at this recipe with fresh blueberries that we froze ourselves and they worked great.
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Sure there are lots of blueberry sauces and jams that could be melted a bit to make a sauce, but most supermarket varieties are loaded with sugar or corn syrup. We’re keeping this version as close to the farm as possible. For the balsamic vinegar, we used the best balsamic we could find from a small specialty store. It’s so much better than anything found at the supermarket and is so sweet and thick that it is possible to do balsamic shots.
2 cups blueberries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- In a skillet over really low heat, stir together the balsamic and maple syrup. As they warm, they’ll start to combine nicely. Add the blueberries. Stir to coat as much as possible. We’re not really looking to cook the blueberries as much as we’re just heating them through. Most likely it will seem that nothing’s happening, nothing’s happening, then oops, the balsamic mixture is bubbling up. At this point add the cinnamon and stir. With the back of a fork start smashing blueberries. Their juices will be released and add to the liquid portion of the sauce while the smashed inner fruit helps thicken it.
- Since this is all about the blueberries, we smashed only half of the berries, leaving the other half fully intact. And a pinch of salt is all that’s needed to complete the sauce. Those full-size blueberries scream homemade and will roll over the top of frozen desserts or plain cake beautifully.
- *If using a more tart balsamic, you might have to add another teaspoon or two of maple syrup to balance the acid while the sauce is still very warm so it blends easily.