As the weather deepens into Fall, my garden is done, the harvest is put away and wood is stacked on the porch. I can finally turn my attention to other things and so I return to the kitchen to make the most of all our hard work. Like this, Delicious Berry Syrup from Summer Harvests.
Going through my photographs I found this one, our Easiest Pancakes EVER served with a wildberry syrup made from berries my daughter and I picked in the early hours of a summer morning. Her puppy bounded around us, the baby watching from his stroller as we picked the black caps. We snacked as much as we filled that bucket. It was a simple, happy morning.
The berries were delicious and the photograph brought back the sweet tartness in memory. So I made some for breakfast last Sunday.
How, in the depths of fall can I make pancakes with fresh summer berries? We use, wait for it, fresh frozen. One of the many ways we preserve the wonderful things we harvest is by freezing them for use later, then we can have a taste of summer when the leaves have fallen and summer seems very far away.
The process is the same for fresh or fresh frozen berries. When using wild berries test for tartness before you start the syrup, you will add more (or less) sugar depending on the tart level. You can make this sauce with everything from gooseberries, wild blackberries, wild strawberries or black caps (wild back raspberries), store-bought berries, and even cranberries (try it with a bit of orange instead of lemon zest). You will adjust cooking time and sugar depending on what you use.
The basics are:
2 cups berries
1 cup water
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Thoroughly wash the berries and taste one to determine tartness. Add water and sugar required to a saucepan and dissolve the sugar over medium heat. Stirring often.
Add 1 1/2 cups of berries and lemon zest and stir as you bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and stir often, keep at simmer for about 15 minutes, until berries are soft and liquid thickened slightly. Press liquid, berries and zest through a strainer.
Return liquid to saucepan and simmer, stirring constantly for approximately 5 more minutes, add in reserved berries and warm through. Serve over your favorite pancake recipe or a slice of pound cake.