Here I will demonstrate how to make syrup from European blueberries(technically bilberries, but who cares). In traditional medicine the berries have been used to treat an upset stomach whilst the leaves where used to lower high blood sugar. Blueberries, like most berries, are full of antioxidants and vitamins.
Step 1: The Recipe
This recipe can be scaled up or down to preference:
- 1 kg of berries
- 250 grams of sugar
- 2 grams of citric acid or about 1 tsp of lemon juice
You can add more sugar if you wish, but not less, as the sugar is a preservative. You can also flavour the syrup with cinnamon, cloves, lemon or orange zest, use your best judgement.
Step 2: Boil
Add your berries to a pot and add a splash of water, just enough to keep the berries at the very bottom from burning. Bring the pot up to a boil and let the berries simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir and skim the foam of the top every once in a while.
Step 3: Strain
Remove the pot from the stove and strain the berries into a separate bowl using a sieve or a cheese cloth. Using the back of a spoon, push as much of the liquid as you can out of the berries. The "mush" left behind can be saved for smoothies, jams, etc.
Step 4: Boil Again
Return the liquid to the pot and bring it to a boil. Add the sugar and the citric acid or lemon juice and let it boil for at least 5 minutes. The longer you boil the liquid the thicker and more intensely flavoured it will be.
Step 5: The Finished Product
Pour the liquid into a clean, sterilized bottle. When stored in the fridge it should keep for a couple of weeks. If properly canned in a water bath an unopened bottle can be stored in room temp for a very long time.
The syrup can be used to sweeten teas, it can be poured on top of ice cream or used as an ingredient when making homemade ice cream. It can be used as a flavour enhancer when baking or making frosting. To mix drinks with, or as a cordial, mixed with water. Enjoy!