Black Raspberry Syrup – and Vinegar, too

Black Raspberry syrupInspired by Marisa at Food in Jars I took the last little pint of black raspberries and made a syrup. Color me happy with a homemade spritzer: a big spoonful of the syrup in a glass, topped off with cold sparkling water.

recipe adapted from Food in Jars inspiration 

  • 1 pint plus a little more black raspberries
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 c sugar

Combine the berries and the water, and blend them to smithereens with your handy immersion blender. (Don’t have one? try using your regular blender or food processor, or in a pinch, a potato masher). I love my immersion blender – it let me do this right in the pan I’d be using to cook, which meant a lot less mess for me.

Warning: black raspberries stain like nobody’s business. Don’t wear white. Don’t wear good clothes. Don’t use a good dishcloth or a good towel to clean up! (I speak from experience here.)

At any rate, get that black raspberry paste into a saucepan, and then stir in 1 cup granulated sugar. Bring it to a boil, then let it cook, stirring occasionally, 5-6 minutes. The sugar should be entirely dissolved, and the mixture will get a little bit thick.

Separate the syrup from the seeds – use a very fine mesh sieve, or a strainer lined with cheesecloth that will be forever purple-stained. Force the mixture through the sieve – you don’t need to worry about clarity or cloudiness, go ahead and squeeze the cheesecloth, if you like.

Taste the syrup. Mine was perfect – but if you like yours less sweet, add just a teeny bit of lemon juice. If you like it sweeter, return the syrup to the saucepan, add a bit more sugar, and cook it again until the sugar is dissolved.

Store the syrup  – I got about 1 1/2 cups – in a glass jar in the refrigerator. I didn’t think it was enough to can. If you, however, have a huge load of berries, you certainly could process it in a boiling water-bath for 10 minutes.

BONUS!  Again, following Marisa’s lead (have I mentioned what a wonderful site Food in Jars is? By all means check it out.) I turned all the seeds and pulp into a quart mason jar, and added 2-3 cups of white vinegar. This mixture will wait in my refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks, and then I’ll strain it, and throw out the seeds. Then I’ll be all smug because I’ll have black-raspberry vinegar, which will make an unbelievably great vinaigrette salad dressing.