Do you ever go through fruit phases or obsessions? Sometimes, I seem to go weeks or months at a time only craving one sort of fruit. It’s like grapefruit for miles, and then I lose interest for a couple a years. Or kiwi for months, and then I don’t even notice them again unless the kids make a specific request.
Well, over the past few weeks, it’s been blueberries. I buy the big carton and eat the whole thing. I like them fresh, and small, and tart-sweet. Oh, and firm. If they’re even a tiny bit squishy, they are relegated to the “save for smoothies” pile and put in a freezer bag.
So when Liz Berget told me she had a delicious, simple, blueberry syrup recipe, I asked her to send it over. She shares the easy recipe — and suggestions for what she eats it with — below. But before we jump into the details, I’d love to hear: what are your fruit cravings these days? And do your kids have any favorites? Blueberries bring strong opinions out of my kids. For example, Oscar adores them and always has. But Betty doesn’t like them at all. How about you?
Here’s what Liz says:
This recipe for blueberry syrup is a celebration of this time of year, when berries start to come back into season. This syrup could not be easier to make, and just tastes like summertime. While you can use any kind of berry for making syrup, I love using blueberries because they make for a not-overly-sweet syrup. This syrup is the perfect way to use up any berries in their last days in your fridge, or to make if you’ve gone berry picking and gone a little overboard (not that I would know anything about that). I also love that this syrup offers a nice economic alternative from what can be pricey pure maple syrup in case you too are somewhat a syrup-snob and only opt for the good stuff these days (this is especially true if you start with a giant bag of frozen berries).
We like to use this syrup on pancakes, obviously, and I really recommend using a pancake recipe that utilizes buttermilk or sour cream, which creates a slightly less-sweet pancake when topped with the indulgent syrup. I’ve also mixed this syrup into plain Greek yogurt, topped my morning toast with it, and even served it alongside grilled chicken for an excellent sweet-savory pairing.
So get your berry on and try this syrup as the perfect start to summer!
Simple Blueberry Syrup
For the Syrup (yields 3 cups, easily divided or multiplied)
4 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
½ cup sugar in the raw*
½ cup granulated sugar*
2 cups + 2 tablespoons water, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Note: This syrup will stain just about everything: wooden spoons, ceramic pots, wood countertops, clothes ‚ so beware!
Combine the blueberries, sugar(s), and 2 cups water in a large pot (give yourself plenty of space!). Bring to a boil over high heat (uncovered); reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes (still uncovered), until the syrup coats the back of a spoon.
In a small bowl, stir the 2 tablespoons water and cornstarch together until dissolved. Add cornstarch mixture to the blueberry pot, along with the vanilla extract. Stir and simmer uncovered another 5 minutes until thickened.
Remove from heat and allow to cool thoroughly (heat+your food processor will create a kitchen potentially dangerous mess that you will regret for the rest of your life). Pulse in a food processor until smooth. Excess syrup can be kept in a covered container in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.
When ready to use, heat desired amount of syrup in the microwave for about a minute on high until more runny like maple syrup.
– You can use 1 cup of granulated sugar if you don’t have sugar in the raw on hand; the raw sugar offers a slightly deeper maple flavor
– Feel free to use your favorite pancake recipe in place of the one listed here : )
– I recommend making this ahead of your pancake morning if you’re going to let it cool and smooth it out in the food processor. It keeps great in the fridge! If you don’t mind a lumpier more sauce-like syrup, you can make this alongside your pancakes, using a spoon or immersion blender to break up the berries.
For the Pancakes
(yields 10 four-inch pancakes)
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (+ 1 tablespoon more for skillet)
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil
1 cup fresh blueberries + more for garnish
Optional: whipped cream, powdered sugar, butter
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a medium microwave-friendly bowl, melt butter. Add the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons oil. Whisk together.
Gently fold in the wet ingredients and fresh blueberries into the dry. Be careful not to overmix; batter should be slightly lumpy.
Heat skillet and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Skillet is ready when you flick water onto it and it sizzles. Pour pancake batter on using a ¼ cup measuring cup. Cook until small bubbles form on the surface; then flip and cook an additional minute or so, until both sides are golden brown.
Cooked pancakes can be kept warm in a 195* oven if you want to serve these all at once.
Top pancakes with blueberry syrup and other optional toppings as desired.
Doesn’t that look amazing? I love the suggestion of serving it with yogurt. Thank you so much for sharing, Liz.
If you give this recipe a try, I hope you’ll tell me!
Credits: Images, styling & recipe by Liz Berget.