This syrup recipe can be used for most berries. Use what you have on hand, and better, it is great for really ripe berries. The syrup is canned thin, but is easily thickened* when going to use it. Being that it is thin you can use it for many uses, outside of on pancakes, such as for Italian Sodas or drizzled on yogurt.
A tiny bee on my berries while picking.
Lemon Bumbleberry Syrup
- 2 quarts berries (8 cups), washed and drained
- 6 cups water, divided
- 1 large lemon
- 3 cups sugar
Place your mason jars in a canning kettle, fill jars with water and about halfway up the kettle. Turn onto high and let come to a boil.
Add the rings and lids to a small saucepan, cover with water, bring to a simmer.
In a large stainless steel pot add the berries and 2 cups of the water. Zest the lemon into it. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Crush with a potato masher while it is simmering.
Take off the stove, and pour the berries into a large bowl through a fine mesh strainer. Press the berries gently to extract as much as possible. Discard the seeds and pulp.
Rinse out the pot, return to the stove. Add the remaining 4 cups water, sugar and the berry juice. Bring to a boil, continue to boil for 5 minutes.
Drain mason jars into the kettle, place on a clean kitchen towel. Dip a ladle and canning funnel into the water to sterilize.
Pour the hot syrup into the jars, leaving ¼” head space. Take a clean paper towel that has been wetted with hot water, run around the edges of the jars to clean. Place canning lid on, put on a ring, tighten with hand.
Place jars in canning rack, lower down into water. Bring water back to a boil, with lid on. Make sure the jars are covered with water, if not add the water used to heat the lids.
Once water is boiling, process for 10 minutes.
Remove, place on a cooling rack covered with a clean kitchen towel and let cool. Listen for pings, after they have cooled, gently touch the tops of each lid to make sure they are down. If any flex, place that jar in the refrigerator and use up within a month. Take off rings and wash. If jars are sticky, wipe off.
Makes 4 to 6 pints (Why the huge range? It comes down to your berries and how much liquid they release. Our blackberries were very ripe and fell apart quickly. If you are using berries that are less ripe, you will get less. And…blackberries produce more liquid than blueberries and so on).
Use within a year.
*To thicken: Add 1 cup syrup to a small saucepan, whisk in 1 Tbsp corn starch. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Do not thicken before canning, corn starch isn’t stable for this.