I’ve been making this blueberry topping / compote for years and decided it was high time this sauce had it’s own post. You’ll find variations of it in these blueberry cheesecake parfaits and even my lemon blueberry cupcakes. It’s also my favourite sauce for pancakes.

A small glass jar, filled to the brim with blueberry pie filling.

If you’ve never tried making blueberry sauce from scratch, you’ll be excited to discover how easy it is. All you need is some fresh or frozen blueberries, lemon and sugar and you’re well on your way.

What exactly is it?

Known by many names – Blueberry sauce, blueberry pie filling, blueberry topping or blueberry compote – these are all very slight variants of the same thing. They all use just a handful of ingredients to make a blueberry syrup filled with plump blueberries, that you’ll want to pour over everything. 

Blueberry sauce or topping might have a runnier syrup as opposed to a pie filling where the syrup is often further thickened with cornflour (cornstarch). Compote is a French term for fruit cooked in syrup – generally their own. Blueberry compote is no different and it’s consistency is normally achieved by reducing the liquid and not by adding cornflour / cornstarch.

Luckily, all you need is one recipe and you get to determine how thick you’d like it. 

Determining how thick your blueberry topping will be

This recipe can take you from blueberry sauce through to a thick blueberry compote or even as far as a jam-like consistency if you want. Here’s a few tips to help you understand how to get it just the way you like.

  1. Keep in mind that frozen berries release more water than fresh and will break down more easily.
  2. I’s thick enough to be used as a sauce when you run your finger through it on the back of a spoon and the line holds and does not start dripping. Or dot some on a cold plate then give it 10-20 seconds to set up so you can see what it will be like when cold.
  3. To thicken further (for pies especially) use cornflour and / or cook longer:
    • Cornflour / cornstarch will thicken your sauce quickly, a good option if you want lots of syrup in your sauce.
    • Cooking longer will thicken the sauce via reduction, and will result in less syrup than the previous option.
  4. To keep the blueberries more plump, remove the berries early in the process, while leaving their juice to cook and reduce then add them back at the end. 
  5. To get it more jam like, you can add a further teaspoon of cornflour and water or, again, just cook it a little longer.
  6. If it turns out too thick, you can simple add a dash of water and stir it through until it’s the way you like it. Just keep in mind that adding water will water down the flavour as well as thin the sauce out.
A small glass jar, filled to the brim with blueberry pie filling. A spoon filled with it hovers above.

The sauce you see in these photos was made using frozen berries, cooked for the whole time in the sauce (never removed during the process) and with the cornflour added. This was roughly 10 minutes on the stove from start to finish over a low-medium flame.

Can I use sugar alternatives and natural sweeteners?

Bursting with bright summery berry flavour, blueberries are naturally sweet, so you don’t need a lot of sugar. You may find frozen will need more sugar than in season fresh berries. Blueberries are also filled with powerful antioxidants so you can actually feel good about eating this.

Blueberry topping can be made with natural sugar alternatives too. My favourite is monk fruit sweetener since it only adds sweetness but no extra flavour profile, though you could use maple syrup or honey too. Using a sugar alternative makes this sauce perfect for topping smoothie bowls and yoghurt or mixing through yoghurt to make frozen yoghurt pops.

How to store blueberry sauce / filling

Store your blueberry sauce in a preserving jar with an airtight lid for 7-10 days. 

Did I mention blueberry filling can be frozen? It freezes very well. I like to freeze it in chocolate moulds or larger ice block moulds so that I can thaw just as much as I need. Perfect if you’re making a small batch of pancakes just for you. You could always just freeze and eat it as popsicles too.

Ways to use blueberry topping

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A small glass jar, filled to the brim with blueberry pie filling, yoghurt and granola in the background.

So many wonderful ways to use this blueberry pie filling so what are you waiting for?

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A small glass jar, filled to the brim with blueberry pie filling with a spoon digging in

Blueberry Topping (Blueberry Compote)

5 from 2 votes
A homemade, 4 ingredient blueberry topping or filling recipe that takes 15 minutes and is addictively delicious. Perfect for everything from filling pies to scones, it’s also my favourite blueberry sauce for pancakes.

Ingredients

  • 500 g fresh or frozen blueberries (roughly 1lb)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • cup white granulated sugar (66g / 2.3oz)
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch), optional
  • 2 teaspoons water, optional

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat combine the blueberries, lemon zest, juice and sugar stirring regularly until they have released a lot of liquid and it starts to boil.
  • Mix together the cornstarch and water then stir it into the blueberries. This part is optional and you can let the juice reduce naturally, which will take a little longer.
  • Turn the heat down so the mixture is just simmering.
  • Simmer stirring every so often for about 10 minutes until the blueberries have softened and the liquid has thickened to a consistency you like.
  • To test: run your finger through the juice on the back of a spoon and it should leave a clear line that doesn’t run. It will also take a few seconds to return to the sides of the pan when you stir it.
  • Remove from heat. You can serve this blueberry sauce warm, at room temperature or cold. Store in a jar with an airtight lid for 7-10 days.

Notes

  • Recipe makes about 1 1/4 cups (depending on how reduced the syrup is)
  • Feel free to use fresh or frozen berries – frozen will release more liquid and in turn break down a little more.
  • The blueberry filling / compote in these photos was made using frozen berries, and the cornflour method but feel free to leave the cornflour out if you prefer. You will just need to cook it a teeny bit longer.

How to use blueberry filling

  • As a sauce for pancakes or waffles
  • Dolloped on top of a cheesecake like this one
  • On top of rice pudding like here
  • Blitzed through milk for a blueberry milkshake
  • Mixed into smoothies or lusciously draped over the top
  • On top of scones with cream
  • Inside cupcakes like these
  • On top of cakes
  • In parfaits
  • Over ice cream
  • Inside pies (some mini blueberry pies coming soon)
MORE SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS.
Have you tried this recipe?Rate or comment below and let us know how it was!