Blackberry syrup is surprisingly easy to make at home. Learn to can your homemade blackberry syrup to preserve the delicious taste of summer.
Blackberries are the dandelions of Washington. They grow wild everywhere and are free for the picking. Blackberry pancake syrup is my favorite way to preserve a harvest that is acquired by sneaking into the weird neighbor’s yard at 8 am on a Sunday morning. We use this on pancakes and I like to mix it in with my homemade yogurt.
Fruit syrup is one of the easiest things that a newbie canner can make. It’s just fruit and sugar. Way way, way too much sugar if you follow traditional recipes. I don’t. Normally, I’m a stickler about following the official canning recipes, but when syrup calls for 6 3/4 CUPS of sugar to only 4 1/2 cups of fruit, I refuse to buy into that insanity. This blackberry syrup is much lower in sugar and tastes like fresh summer sunshine. Minus the sunscreen flavoring. Just me? Oh, you’re not super duper pasty and have to live your life in the shade from June through September? Well lucky you. I have a prize for you and all your wonderful pigment. It’s called blackberry syrup.
This post also contains instructions for how to can your homemade blackberry syrup. You can also just make your syrup and store it in the fridge for a month or so, and freeze the extras. Or you can join the freakshow that is the world of home canners, and try your hand at preserving this ish.
Canning Blackberry Syrup Equipment List
- A heavy-bottomed pot for the fruit, and one small pot for sanitizing lids.
- Large bowl
- Immersion blender or blender
- Metal sieve
- Canner: simple water bath canner, a pressure canner (which can double as a water bath canner), or even a huge stockpot with a rack in the bottom.
- Canning tongs/jar lifter
- Lid lifter (optional, but so helpful)
- Jars – I would use 8 oz jam size
- Lids and rings
- Widemouth funnel
- Blackberries. Doy. I pick these at the end of summer and freeze until my kitchen isn’t as hot as the surface of the sun.
- Comfortable shoes. Don’t do this barefoot. Your back will hate you.
- Clean washcloths and at least one thick clean rag.
There is nothing better on a cold January Saturday morning than homemade blackberry syrup on whole wheat waffles. Well, I guess eating them on a beach in Kauai would be a bit better, but potato, po-ta-to. Kauai would require so much SPF. Once does not stay this pale without real effort people.
- 12 cups fresh or frozen blackberries preferably organic
- 2-3 cups sugar preferably organic
Put a splash of water in a heavy-bottomed pot, and cook down the berries until very soft and steaming.
When hot, use an immersion blender in the pot to blend the berries. If you don't have an immersion blender, carefully transfer in batches to a regular blender. Leave the center component of the lid off to allow the steam to escape.
Ladle hot berry "sauce" into a metal sieve placed over a bowl.
Use a spatula to work the sauce around until all that is left in the sieve is the seeds. Return the now seedless sauce to the cooking pot.
Mix sugar into the sauce, cook on low until the syrup has thickened a bit. More sugar will equal a thicker, sweeter syrup, but we prefer it with minimal sugar.
If you're not canning the syrup, simply transfer it to small containers. Refrigerate and use within a month, or freeze for six months.
Fill your waterbath canner about one-fourth full and place it on a burner set to high. Place your sanitized canning lids in a small pot of boiling water.
Clean your jars with hot soapy water. You can put them in pan with some water in your oven on the lowest setting. For blackberry syrup, I simply fill the jars with super hot water and let them sit on the counter.
When the water in the canner is almost boiling, place the funnel on your jar, and ladle hot syrup in, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Headspace is the amount of space between the top of the food and the top of the jar.
Using a hot, wet rag, wipe the rims of the jars to remove any syrup residue.
Using a lid lifter, place a lid on the jar. Screw on a ring to fingertip tight.
Using canning tongs, place jars in the boiling water. Put the lid on the canner, and once the water is back to a rolling boil, process for 10 minutes.
When the 10 minutes is up, remove the canner from the heat, and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Using the canning tongs, remove the jars and place them on a thick towel in a place where they won't be disturbed for 12 hours.
After 12 hours, check the seal on the jars by pressing down in the center of the lid. If there is any give, either refrigerate and use those jars in the next month or reprocess.
Store in a cool dark place for 12-18 months.
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