Our land has been generous to us this summer – in giving red and evergreen huckleberries to forage. Gathering 6 cups worth is a lot of effort to say the least, so I wanted my project to be worthy of the time I invested. And there is nothing quite like infusing wild berries into a sugar syrup, heavily infused with brandy. They need to sit for a few weeks before enjoying, but are amazing over ice cream or in drinks. They are alcoholic though, so adults only!
- 6 to 8 cups huckleberries*
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
- 7 Tbsp+ brandy
Add the lids and rings to a small saucepan, fill with water and simmer.
Follow the directions in the notes on cleaning the berries.
Add the sugar and water to a large stainless steel pot, bring to a boil.
Add in the berries, gently stirring in. Let return to a boil, turn to medium-low and let gently simmer for 5 minutes to heat the berries.
Take the hot mason jars out, drain and place on a clean kitchen towel. Sterilize a canning funnel, ladle and air bubble popper in the hot water.
Ladle out the berries, draining off the liquid and divide between the mason jars equally.
Pour a generous Tablespoon of brandy on top of the berries in each jar.
Add the hot syrup to the jars, and releases air bubbles running the bubble popper through each jar, leaving a ¼” headspace at the top, topping with more syrup as needed.
Take a damp new paper towel, and wipe the rims. Place on a canning lid, and a canning ring, securing finger tip tight. Place the jars into the rack, lower into the water in the canning kettle. Make sure the jars are fully covered by water. Return to a boil, process for 10 minutes at a full boil.
Remove from pot, let cool on counter on a dry kitchen towel. Once cool, check lids are flat and sealed. If not, store in refrigerator, use within 2 weeks.
Store in a cool, dry and dark area, use within a year for best results. Once opened, use up in 1 to 2 weeks time.
Makes about 7 half-pint jars (8-ounces).
*You can use fresh or frozen berries. As they are so small, I collect and freeze them in advance. I sort through them to remove any duff and stems, then rinse the frozen berries in a colander. Fresh, do the same.
As for the amount, the more berries the better, but use what you have!