Don't be fooled into thinking that this blueberry syrup is as innocent as it looks. It can easily be transferred from yogurt to pancakes, or as a finger-licking ribs marinade.
If you're like me, I'm beginning to feel like autumn isn't quite as far away as I thought it was. While it's still sticky-hot here in Chicago, I'm finding myself requesting a table outdoors even when the air conditioning beckons. I know that in a few short months, I'll be chilled to the bone and dreaming of sipping sweat beaded ice-cold drinks on the patio. This is a great way of capturing summer-sweet blueberries and enjoying them long into the autumn.
You may recognize the bottle I used from the spiced vodka I gave away as gifts over the holidays. This too would make a perfect gift and will last for months if stored in the refrigerator and sealed tightly.
Home-made Blueberry Syrup
5 cups (about 1 1/2 lbs) of fresh blueberries
2 cups of sugar
4 cups of water
6 one inch strips of lemon zest removed with a vegetable peeler
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
In a pot, combine the blueberries with 1 cup of the water. Mash the berries with a potato masher and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the juice through a sieve into a heat-proof measuring cup, pressing hard on the solids. This will take a little muscle work and patience- you want to squeeze as much juice from the berries as possible. Discard the solids.
Rinse the pot out and combine the rest of the 3 cups of water, sugar, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and stir continuously until the sugar dissolves. Boil the syrup over moderate heat until it measures 225F on a candy thermometer, or about 20 minutes.
Add the blueberry and lemon juices to the syrup, bring to a boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Let it cool, then discard the lemon zest.
Pour into just-cleaned bottles and seal tightly. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.