Saturday, August 25, 2012

Easy Berry Syrup

I have severals batches of canned goods under my belt by this time of year. Marmalade, done. Raspberry Jam, done. Pickles, done.

Tired of canning in this heat? So done!

It is this time of year when I begin to give up on my dreams of a pantry filled with all home-preserved goods. I am so tired of hauling out the canning apparatus and heating up the kitchen with the big, steaming vat of boiling water!

Berry syrups are easy. Super easy. You don't even really need a recipe. Maybe a method or a reminder to make them...

And you don't have to "can" them. No need to boil and seal them- just pop them into the freezer and away you go! In 10 minutes you can have a bunch of berry syrups headed to the freezer for long term storage. (Pictured top: blueberry syrup, bottom: raspberry syrup)

The best part of berry syrups is that they are so entirely useful and add such a bright burst of summery goodness to everything you make!

Some ideas for you to ponder: stir some into sparkling water for a fizzy italian-style soda, add to lemonade, add some to icing for a bright, berry-infused cake topping, pour it over pancakes or waffles, drizzle over plain yogurt...the possibilities are endless!

Easy Berry Syrup
I like to put these syrups into small containers so we can use just a little without any going to waste. These are one of the best tastes of summer to pull out of the freezer!

fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries or blackberries), rinsed
sugar or honey
plastic freezer containers or small glass jars

1. Cook berries in a medium saucepan over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until berries break down, adding a splash of water if needed.
2. Strain through fine mesh strainer, sieve or cheesecloth into another bowl.
3. Return berry sauce to clean saucepan and add sugar or honey to taste. Let cool slightly and pour into freezer-safe containers, remembering to leave space for expansion! To use: Thaw overnight in fridge or place container in bowl of warm water for a few minutes. Keeps in fridge for a few days.