Every once in a while I stray from writing about business and write up something a little more fun, a little more educational, a little more… tasty.
Last time, I shared a morel soup recipe from pickings on our property. Mmm. Morels…
This time, I’m going to show you how to whip up blueberry syrup in about five minutes using a microwave.
Let’s start with ingredients:
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 TB water
- 1 TB natural sweetener (e.g. agave syrup, honey, maple syrup)
- 1TB water + 1/4 TB cornstarch
That’s it. (NOTE: This recipe makes enough for a single[ish] serving, so adjust accordingly to feed more hungry mouths.)
Start with berries & water.
Summertime is berry time, so I try to stock up and eat as many as I can before the season is over. Berries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and, ultimately, deliciousness. Unfortunately, as any berry fan knows, these little delights don’t keep for long.
The wonderful thing about blueberries is they freeze exceptionally well. I just bought a big tub of of them at Sam’s Club last week and, knowing I wouldn’t get to them anytime soon, popped the whole thing in my freezer immediately. Now when I want some, I pull out the container, grab a handful, give ’em a quick wash in a colander (because freezing doesn’t kill food-borne bacteria), and dump them where I please: on vanilla ice cream, in a bowl of cereal, in a batch of muffins or other recipe, etc.
1. Straight into a microwave-safe measuring cup go 1/2 cup of frozen blues. But, before you get too excited about adding sweetener, we’ve got to zap these babies so they soften and warm.
2. Add 1 TB water to the berries and pop the whole thing in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between sessions, until the berries are soft, warm, and most of them are popped open.
For me, it only took three 30-second rounds to get my berries to the right consistency.
Add a little sweet to your blues.
While this is a great motto for how to improve a bad day, it really is just the next step in our syrup-making process.
Today I used agave syrup, but I would have used raw honey had I any in stock. You can also opt for maple syrup, brown sugar, or even (*gasp*) refined white sugar. There’s really just one rule here: add something sweet that’s liquid or will dissolve in liquid.
(Also, don’t get crazy. Blueberries already have natural sweetness, but their characteristic tart after-bite doesn’t do much for my taste buds when I’m trying to enjoy my meal. You only need a bit of sweetener to offset that tartness, so better to add not enough at this point than too much.)
3. Add 1 TB sweetener to the berry mash, stir, and microwave again for 30 seconds. When the mixture comes out of the microwave, it should be slightly bubbly (see photo). That means the sugar and fruit have cooked… and you’re halfway to delicious syrup!
Thick it. Thick it good.
After cooking the sweetener with the berries, the whole thing will be a hot, watery mess (kinda like one of your girlfriends when she’s crying over her ex). It’ll smell good, sure, but it’s in no way ready for the real world.Get it together, gurl.
In regular syrup making, you’d probably end up boiling the concoction until all the water evaporated off.
But, right now, my belly is hungry. And, boiling? Seriously?
Guuuuurl, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
4. Create thickening solution — 1 TB cold water + 1/4 TB cornstarch — and pour it in the berry mixture. Stir thoroughly.
You should start to see some thickening happen, but don’t get jumpy with the cornstarch: The mix won’t achieve a true syrup-y consistency until it cools off, so give the container a little cold water bath to help things along.
5. In a larger mixing cup, fill about 1/3 with cold water. Nest the cup with the berries in the water and let it sit, stirring occasionally. You may even want to replace the cold water a time or two, as it’ll warm with the transference of heat from your delicious syrup.Once things cool off, you’ll notice the syrup thickening to it’s proper consistency.
(If you don’t, give it a little more time or, if you really can’t wait, chuck the whole thing and just eat your pancakes with jam smeared on them.)
Congratulations! You made blueberry syrup in five minutes!
Your friends will be crazy jealous of your sweet (literally sweet) skillz.
Since this is a single serving recipe, I assume you’ll be dumping your delicious creation all over something immediately edible. But, if you just wanted to test my recipe and it turns out that it really is as awesome as I say it is, you can save the syrup in the fridge for later use.
Now, what did I do with mine? I drizzled it all over a watermelon “pancake,” which really isn’t any kind of proper cake at all (drat) but a circular slice of watermelon that covered my entire plate. Then I sprinkled some granola on top, just to make myself feel better.I would have eaten a real pancake, but I’m 8+ months preggo and I’m trying to cut down on my carb intake, which, sadly, was tragically high yesterday. (It was a never-change-out-of-my-pajamas-all-day kind of #Monday.) Seriously. My breakfast yesterday was toast with butter and jam and a package of cherry Pop Tarts.
I know you can hardly tell it’s fruit under there from a picture, but it really is. I promise. And it really was tasty (even considering the bland, end-of-season watermelon I got from the grocery store).
Could I have eaten the watermelon by itself? Sure, but then I wouldn’t have gotten creative in the kitchen today to share this little berry syrup recipe with you!
Jessi is the owner of Mountain Owl Ink LLC, a creative services company located in Minnesota that offers writing, illustration, and editing services to people who ask (and pay). 😉