Blackberry Syrup

It’s a Blackberry Bonanza around here.  Our friend Scott has blackberry bushes in his backyard in Easton, and so far, he’s given us 8 quarts this year.  The first three quarts I made into syrup and gave him one of the jars.  So back he came yesterday morning, with five more quarts of berries.  I began making blackberry syrup last summer when Scott brought us blackberries then.  I added a tiny bit of corn starch this year, just to thicken it a bit more.  I have successfully frozen this syrup and used it throughout the year that way.  With only an electric stove, am unable to do any real canning.  But this is quick and superb.

INGREDIENTS
3 lbs. blackberries, as fresh as possible
1 C organic sugar
1 C water
1 T corn starch and 2 T cold water

DIRECTIONS
Mix corn starch into cold water and blend with a fork until dissolved, set aside.

Bring berries, sugar and water to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.   Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft, about 30 minutes.  While stirring, make sure to gently press/crush berries against the side of the pot with your wooden spoon.

Let mixture cool to a safe temperature.   This cooling will take an hour or two at least.  Then pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into glass bowl, pressing gently on and then discarding all solids.  This is the time consuming part; it will take a good 10-15 minutes.

Put strained syrup back into pot, and add corn-starch water.
Bring syrup just to a boil, stirring constantly.
Turn down heat a little. Stir very often and simmer for about another five minutes.
Let cool,  and then chill to thicken a bit more.
For best flavor, serve syrup almost at room temperature.

Note:  If you’re going to freeze some, put it in thick glass jars, such as small canning jars, maybe 4 oz. or 8 oz.  Or you can put it in some of those new Ball brand plastic jars, which are BPA-free.  When freezing, make sure to leave some space at the top, as the liquid will expand when it freezes.

Yield, about 24 ounces of syrup, maybe a tad more.

This is really good to drizzle over fruit such as grilled peaches or poached pears, or soy yogurt.  Also, to sweeten iced tea, lemonade, or cocktails.  I’m going to play around with making a blackberry balsamic salad dressing/vinaigrette.  This recipe might look time consuming, but really, you can do all kinds of other things while it’s cooking.  I do dishes, and make dinner while it cooks, and then forget about it for a couple of hours while it cools.

Adapted from this recipe on epicurious.