PRESERVE THE HARVEST SERIES & CANNING HOMEMADE BLACKBERRY SYRUP
Preserve the Harvest Series presents a new fruit or vegetable every Tuesday with the goal of helping you get the most out of fresh fruits and vegetables harvested during peak season. Whether you grow your own fruits and vegetables, buy them at the Farmer’s Market or your local grocery store, it is good to remember the best time to preserve your bounty is when it is plentiful. Preserving the harvest stocks your pantry shelves and freezer with whole foods that you can feel good about, foods that taste great, and this approach saves you money. A sane approach to sustainability! Next up…Blackberries & Canning Homemade Blackberry Syrup
LET’S TALK BLACKBERRIES
Blackberries are bramble fruits and grow on thorny canes or what some may call sticker bushes. Thornless blackberry bushes are available, but the thornless variety can still have small thorns that cause damage . It’s a good idea to wear gloves for protection when working with the canes. While blackberries are easy to grow, it is important to keep a good eye on the developing canes. If left to themselves they can quickly take over an area. Blackberries like lots of sun, soil with good drainage, and plenty of water, especially when fruiting. Treat your plants well and they will give you many years of productive growing seasons.
See the following links for more information on planting, growing and pruning blackberries.
Planting: Planting Blackberries: The National Gardening Association
Pruning: Blackberry Pruning – How To Trim Blackberry Bushes: Gardening Know How
HARVESTING, CARE AND STORAGE OF BLACKBERRIES
Berries ripen over a period of several weeks and once they begin to ripen will need to be picked every 2-4 days. Bird netting can be purchased to cover your berries if you are having an issue with birds eating your crop and don’t want to share. Pick berries early in the morning in the cool of the day. Refrigerate immediately and rinse berries only right before using. Refrigerated berries will keep for up to 5 days.
Blackberries may be frozen with great results. To freeze, rinse berries lightly and place on paper towel to soak up extra moisture. Arrange blackberries on a baking sheet in single layer and place in the freezer until frozen solid. Once frozen, remove berries and place in heavy duty freezer bag or use vacuum sealer. Frozen berries can be stored up to a year.
CANNING HOMEMADE BLACKBERRY SYRUP
Today’s recipe is adapted from one of my favorite berry cookbooks; The Berry Bible By Janie Hibler. The Berry Bible has 175 recipes that use every berry imaginable. I love the fact that she includes recipes for wild, fresh and frozen berries. If you enjoy making recipes with berries you should check this one out. I increased the amount of fruit suggested and decreased the sugar. To make the syrup a little thicker I simply cook it a little longer. I also left out the butter and baking soda in her recipe. It always makes me a bit nervous to use fats when using a water bath method for canning.
For many years I resisted making fruit syrups. I couldn’t see the benefit since I don’t like fruit syrup on my pancakes. I missed out. There are so many ways to use this delicious syrup. I like to make mine a little bit on the thick side making it useful for so many things. Spoon homemade canned blackberry syrup over ice cream or use to brighten up a salad dressing. The recipe also works well as a glaze on ham or poultry. Think outside the box and you will be amazed at the versatility of this syrup.
SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED
- Water Bath Canner
- Quart Jars with Lids and Bands – Just the right size for 1 pie.
- Utensil Set – Not absolutely necessary, but makes the job of canning a whole lot easier.
- Large non- reactive pot
- Food Mill or Juicer – I have a food mill and a juicer. Each have their pro’s and con’s. My Omega juicer does do a great job at getting all the seeds out and removing the pulp with little waste, but I have to clean it a few times while juicing. The hand cranked food mill works well too, but with a little more waste. It also takes twice as long.
The following recipe is processed using a water bath canning process. If you have never canned before or need a refresher the National Center for Home Food Preservation is the gold standard of information. I would encourage you to head over and read their general canning information.
- ¼ cup fresh lemon Juice (about 2 medium sized lemons)
- 6-7 cups of fresh blackberries, rinsed and drained, pureed and seeded. Amount of puree should equal 3 cups.
- 1 box (1.75 ounce) powdered pectin
- 2½ cups sugar
- Pour blackberry puree and lemon juice into a large nonreactive pan.
- Add pectin and mix thoroughly.
- Place the pan over medium high heat and bring to a full boil, stirring constantly.
- Add sugar, mix thoroughly and simmer until syrup is slightly thickened (about 5 minutes).
- Remove from heat, fill sterilized 8 oz canning jars leaving ½ inch headspace.
- Wipe rim of canning jar and apply lid and band.
- Process in hot water bath for 10 - 15 minutes depending on elevation.
Homemade Blackberry Syrup shared with:
*Savvy Southern Style: Wow us Wednesday *Dizzy, Busy and Hungry: Wine’d Down Wednesdays *Crafty Allie: Worthwhile Wednesdays *The Shady Porch: Party on the Porch *Smart School House: Whimsy Wednesday *My Paper craze: Creative Spark *My Crafty Wife: The Wednesday Roundup *Homestead Lady: Green Thumb Thursday *Organized 31:Inspire us Thursday *Living Well Spending Less: Thrifty Thursday *The Deliberate Mom: Shine *Calm Healthy Sexy: Let’s Get Real *Nancherrows: Friday’s Unfolded *Ruffles and Rainboots: Thank Goodness it’s Thursday *Happy and Blessed Home: Family Fun Friday *The Diary of a Real Housewife: Friday Favorites *Kitchen Dreaming: The Weekend Social *A Dish of Daily Life: Foodie Friday’s *Sondra Lyn at Home: Share it Sunday *2 Crochet Hooks: Snickerdoodle Sunday *Baking in Pyjamas: Sweet and Savoury *Mrs Tee Love Life Laughter: The Mommy Monday Blog Hop *Create With Joy: Inspire Me Monday *Bloggers Brags: Pinterest Party *Plucky’s Second Thoughts * 21st Century Housewife: Hearth and Soul Hop *It’s a Ginger Snap: Motivate Me Monday *Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday *Craving Some Creativity: Turn It Up Tuesday * An Extraordinary Day: Craft Room Makeover *Lou Lou Girls: Lou Lou Girls *Our Table For Seven: Share Your Stuff Tuesday’s * Mandy’s Recipe Box: Totally Talented Tuesday’s *Designed by BH:Twirl and Take a Bow *Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesday’s
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