You can make this delicious, flavorful sauce in under 10 minutes using fresh or frozen blueberries. It was pictured in my last post ladled over Baked Blueberry French Toast. This easy sauce makes a delicious topping or mix-in for lots of other things, too:
angel food cake
waffles & pancakes
layered in a parfait
spread on toast, bagels, or muffins in place of jam
Step-by-step photos for making Microwave Blueberry Sauce
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients: blueberries (fresh or frozen)*, brown sugar, orange juice, almond extract, cinnamon, corn starch.
*ABOUT THE BLUEBERRIES:
Frozen blueberries are picked at their peak of ripeness and often provide consistently better flavor and deeper color than fresh grocery store blueberries. I choose frozen over fresh, unless I have access to homegrown or in-season, freshly picked blueberries.
If you're using frozen blueberries, they do not need to be thawed before making this sauce. They'll thaw quickly as they cook in the microwave.
Step 2. Measure 2 cups of the blueberries and add them to a 1-1/2 to 2 quart microwave-safe bowl. Save the remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries to add in later. (I'm using frozen blueberries in the batch pictured here.)
Step 3. Add orange juice, almond extract, cinnamon, and brown sugar. (You can substitute white sugar--I tested it both ways, and they both were good. However, I think the brown sugar gives the sauce a richer taste.) Give all that a quick stir.
Step 4. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the water & set aside.
Step 5. Microwave blueberry mixture, uncovered, at full power 7 minutes (in 1100 watt microwave).
Step 6. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and return to microwave for 1 minute more.
About the cornstarch. This is added as a thickener. A slurry of 1-1/2 tablespoon of corn starch stirred into 1-1/2 tablespoon of water results in a blueberry sauce consistency similar to pancake syrup. If you prefer a thicker sauce, use a slurry of 2 tablespoons of each.
Blueberries may vary in the amount of juice they have. This may affect the amount of cornstarch slurry needed. You can make adjustments by stirring in a little more water to thin the sauce, or adding more cornstarch slurry to thicken it.
Step 7. Remove from microwave and stir remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries into the hot liquid, just until combined. Stirring these whole blueberries in at the end results in a chunkier sauce, because the uncooked ones hold their shape better--they cook just slightly while they sit in the hot mixture. I like having whole visible blueberries in my sauce to give it that homemade, real blueberry look and texture.
Step 8. Let the sauce sit on the counter for 30 minutes uncovered. It will thicken some as it cools.
Step 9. Cover and put it in the fridge to cool completely.
Although it can be eaten right away, the flavor of the sauce improves if it is made a day ahead. It will keep for at least a week. Maybe longer, but ours hasn't lasted long enough to find out.
2-1/2 cups (12-oz bag) fresh or frozen blueberries, divided
1/2 cup orange juice (juice from 2 medium oranges)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons water
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons corn starch
In 1-1/2 to 2 quart microwave-safe bowl, stir together 2 cups of the blueberries, orange juice, brown sugar, almond extract, and cinnamon.
In separate small bowl make cornstarch slurry by whisking cornstarch into water; set aside. --for a syrup consistency, combine 1-1/2 tablespoons water with 1-1/2 tablespoons corn starch --for a thicker sauce, combine 2 tablespoons water with 2 tablespoons corn starch
Microwave blueberry mixture uncovered at full power for 7 minutes. Stop and stir in cornstarch slurry. Return to microwave for 1 more minute, for a total cooking time of 8 minutes. Stir in remaining blueberries and cool uncovered at room temperature for 30 minutes; sauce will thicken some as it cools. Cover and store in refrigerator. Keeps for at least 1 week. Flavor is best if made a day ahead.
NOTE: Blueberries may vary in the amount of juice they have and effect the amount of cornstarch slurry needed. Make adjustments by stirring in a little more water to thin the sauce, or adding more cornstarch slurry to thicken it.
Serve over ice cream, cheesecake, angel food cake, pancakes, waffles, or French toast. Mix into yogurt or smoothies.
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