This low sugar canned berry syrup and dessert topping is made with fruit, apple juice, honey, and a bit of sugar. You can also make it with just the juice and honey, if you don’t mind a stronger honey flavor. It is nicely sweet, though – there’s no mistaking that this is a syrup.
Because the recipe is made with the whole berry, it is really fresh-tasting (a bonus in the depths of winter) and easy. Even with the 40 minutes needed to boil down the syrup, it only takes about an hour to make 9 1/2-pints. I used our garden Marionberries (my favorite berry) for this batch of syrup.
What are my plans for this Marionberry Syrup? Well, I’m sure we will eat some, and the others are the beginning of Christmas presents (if you are someone who might receive one of these, kindly act real surprised…). I haven’t decided which way to go with these yet, but here are my two ideas:
- Breakfast Basket: combine with a bag of homemade pancake/waffle mix, and maybe include another flavor like raspberry or different syrup.
- Ice Cream Basket: Add a caramel and chocolate syrup along with this, an ice cream scoop, some nuts, and a recipe for Incredible Ice Cream Without A Machine.
If you want to use seasonal produce for presents, you’ve got to think way in advance, though the other nice thing with this recipe is that you can use frozen fruit as well as fresh, which means you can process it whenever you’ve got the time.
This is a recipe even someone new to canning can accomplish easily! Simply combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. The pot will be about 3/4-full.
Reduce the heat to keep the mixture at a low boil for 40-45 minutes, stirring often. Don’t let it burn or stick, though I found I could do other things in the kitchen- I didn’t have to stand over the pot and stir for the entire time.
When it looks like this – syrupy and reduced until the pot is only 1/2-full – it’s time to put them in jars and can in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes. See Water Canning Step-by-Step for specifics.
See? Whether they will be gifts or line your pantry, this is an easy way to have fresh berry flavor for your pancakes or ice cream!
- 10-1/2 cups berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.), fresh or frozen
- 4-1/2 c. apple juice
- 1-1/2 c. honey
- 1-1/2 c. sugar (or you can use all honey: 2-3/4 c. honey total- use a bit less as honey is sweeter than sugar)
- Place fruit in an 8-quart pot and crush (if using frozen fruit, let thaw at room temperature first).
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir constantly towards the end as it gets close to boiling, just to make sure it doesn't overflow the pot.
- Reduce the heat slightly- enough to keep the fruit at a medium boil - and stir often as the mixture cooks and reduces over the next 40 minutes. It should be thickened and reduced by almost half. If not, continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, prepare the canner and 9½-pints jars (or 5 pint jars) and lids. Keep the jars warm until filling.
- Immediately fill hot jars with the syrup, leaving ½-inch headspace. Wipe jar tops and threads clean and place lids and bands on jars.
- Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool on a towel overnight before removing bands and testing lids for seal. Refrigerate any that didn't seal and store the rest on a dark, cool shelf.
- Always label the jars with the contents and a date so you remember what you've got. Use within a year.