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• 4 cups Florida blueberries, stemmed, rinsed, and drained
• 3 cups water
• 2 strips lemon peel
• 3 cups sugar
• 1 vanilla bean
• Florida orange juice or lime juice to taste
Pour the blueberries into a saucepan and crush them with a wooden spoon until most of the skins are broken. Add 1 cup of water and strips of lemon peel and bring to a simmer. Turn heat down to low and cook the berries for 5 minutes until just under a simmer.
Pour the hot berries into a strainer lined with two layers of cheesecloth and let the blueberry juice drip through. Twist the cloth to extract all the juice. There will be approximately 2 cups. Discard the berry pulp.
Combine the remaining 2 cups of water with the sugar and vanilla bean in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear. Wipe the insides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Then boil the mixture, without stirring, until it reaches 260 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
Add the blueberry syrup to the sugar syrup and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Let the syrup cool and add orange or lime juice to taste.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
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