Lynda Brown's Berry Syrup
Home-made syrups, cordials, and juices make the most of seasonal fruit and taste much fruitier than those you can buy. Use this syrup to flavour milkshakes and smoothies, as a sauce for ice creams, and stirred into fruit salads.
Makes approximately 500ml (16fl oz) (2 small bottles)
Takes 25 minutes
Keeps 1-2 months, refrigerated, (6 months frozen)
450g (1lb) ripe blackberries or loganberries, washed if needed
Approximately 350g (12oz) caster sugar (see method below)
1 tsp citric acid
Place the fruit in a saucepan with a thin film of water in the bottom, and simmer very gently for the shortest time possible to extract the juice (about 3-5minutes). Squash the fruit with a potato masher to the back of a wooden spoon as it cooks.
Strain the purée through a muslin-lined sieve or jelly bag into a clean bowl (to give a clearer syrup). Press the pulp in the sieve very gently to extract any remaining juice.
Pour the juice into a measuring jug. Calculate and measure the amount of sugar needed (350g/12oz of sugar per 500ml/16fl oz of juice), then add it to the juice with the citric acid. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Once the sugar has completely dissolved, immediately pour the fruit syrup into warm sterilized bottles using a sterilized funnel, and then seal the bottles.
Store in the fridge if consuming immediately. Syrups can also be frozen in freezer pots, in which case leave 2.5cm (1in) of space at the top of each pot.
From The Preserving Book (Dorling Kindersley, 2010)