This has been a banner year for blackberries in my climate. I have been picking a pint a day from the vines in my own yard, and more from random patches I have found on walks with my dog. I have made loads of jam, frozen some and given them away, but I have been searching for a new way to preserve them, and have remembered a trick from my childhood.
Fruit can be canned whole or sliced in a sugar syrup. I have tried this with the blackberries, and they are just lovely this way!
First, the syrup: I like a light syrup in mine. It doesn’t detract from the natural fruit flavor, and keeps their original color, beautifully. My syrup is as follows: 1 cup of sugar to 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and continue a full rolling boil for 10 minutes.
Wash and dry fruit. Pour berries into a sterile jar to within 1 inch of top. Pour syrup over berries to same level (1 inch from top). Tightly fit lid and ring, and place in canning kettle. Cover jars with water to 2 inches above tops of jars. Bring water to a boil and begin timing. 10 minutes processing is all that is needed for this type of canned fruit.
Remove from water bath, and cool on a towel on the counter overnight.
That’s it! The fruit will last up to a year unopened on the shelf.
Later, when you are hankering for blackberries when it is cold outside, and Summer is a distant memory, your perfectly ripe berries will be ready for you!
One possible use for them is to stir a teaspoon of corn starch into the cool syrup and berries and heat them in a saucepan. When the syrup returns to clear (from being opaque) and the syrup is thick enough for your taste, it’s ready to be a delicious, nutritious pancake syrup, ice cream topping, or filling for a layer cake. The possibilities are endless. Summer can go on and on this way, no matter what the calender says!
Now that’s Awesome America!