This year saw the best crop of blackberries we’ve seen yet with the largest, juiciest, sweetest blackberries I’ve ever tasted. I think it must somehow be connected with the all-time, record-breaking long, cold, wet Spring we had this year. It was miserable to live in, but it sure did wonders for the blackberries!
Blackberries are so plentiful here in Washington State, they’re considered an invasive weed. And for the life me, every time we see blackberries for sale in the grocery stores we wonder why on earth anyone would pay for blackberries when they’re so readily available everywhere for free!
A tradition Todd and I have kept every year for the past 12 years is picking blackberries together each summer. Up until this summer our record was 19 gallons but this year we’ve got it beat: 22 gallons and still more to come! We usually just freeze them to use in our daily breakfast smoothies throughout the winter but this year I wanted to pick even more so I could have plenty extra for making blackberry syrup.
And of course there always has to be some extra for blackberry cobbler and pie!
What are some of your favorite ways to use blackberries?
Making your own blackberry syrup is easy to do and the end result is incredibly delicious and bursting with the vibrant flavor of Summer!
For anyone interested in canning, I’m also including instructions for canning this syrup for long-term storage so you can enjoy this wonderful syrup all year round. I plan on stocking my pantry with plenty of it before the Summer is through!
This syrup can be made with sugar, honey or made sugar-free.
This homemade blackberry syrup is phenomenal on pancakes, waffles, crepes, ice cream, cheesecake and any other way your heart desires!
Let’s get started!
Place blackberries in medium-sized pot with lemon juice and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the blackberries.
Note: You can stretch this syrup further without diluting the flavor too much by adding 3/4 cup water with the blackberries (then add a little extra sugar/honey/sweetener when you add the strained juice back to the pot. At the end just add an extra teaspoon of pectin at the end (or more if you prefer it thicker).
Mash the blackberries with a potato masher just to break them up further.
Strain the blackberries in fine mesh sieve or colander, collecting the juice in a large bowl.
A cool gadget I ordered on Amazon a while ago is this jam strainer. It’s nice because you can suspend the fruit from above and let it drain by itself down into the bowl below. You can find it here on Amazon.
You should have about 3 full cups of pure blackberry juice. If it yields a little less or a little more, that’s fine.
Place the blackberry juice back in the pot along with the sugar (or honey or alternative sweetener). Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Stir int the pectin and boil for another minute. Remove from heat.
At this point you can either use the syrup immediately or let it cool and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
OR you can extend its shelf life by canning it. It’s super simple to do and will allow you to enjoy this delicious blackberry syrup all year long. Simply pour the hot syrup into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace from the top, wipe the tops of the jars with a damp cloth, and screw on the lids. Place the jars in a boiling water bath and process pint jars for 10 minutes and quart jars for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the jars and let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours. Store them in a dark, cool place and they’ll keep for at least a year.
If you don’t already have a canner here’s a complete set of everything you’ll need.
Homemade Blackberry Syrup (or Berry of Choice)
- 8 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
- 2 1/2 cups cane sugar (can substitute 1 cup honey)
- Sugar-free: Use Swerve (if canning you'll need to verify if alternative sweetener can be used)
- 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice (bottled is recommended is you're canning the syrup)
- 2 teaspoons Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin or powdered pectin of choice (use more pectin if you prefer a thicker syrup)
- See Note about stretching this syrup out further
- Place the blackberries in a medium-sized pot and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until very soft and mushy. Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher to further break up the berries.
- Place the cooked blackberries in a fine-meshed sieve or colander or in a cheesecloth to strain the juice. After the juice is done draining, use a spoon to scrape the puree around in the strainer to remove as much juice as possible, or squeeze the cheesecloth. You should have about 3 cups of juice.
- Rinse out the pot and pour the blackberry juice in it along with the sugar and lemon juice. Bring it to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Stir in the pectin and boil for another minute. Serve immediately or store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- IF CANNING: Pour the hot syrup into sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace, wipe the rims with a damp cloth and screw on the lids. Process in a water bath, 10 minutes for pints and 15 minutes for quarts. Carefully remove the cans and let the rest undisturbed for 24 hours. Will keep in a cool, dark place for at least a year.