Preserved: Bumbleberry Syrup


Capture the best of your seasonal produce for later.


[Photograph: Lucy Baker]

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Pure Vermont maple has always been my go-to syrup for pancakes, French toast, and waffles. But while it's perfect for breakfast, maple syrup isn't exactly dessert friendly. Imagine pouring it over ice cream or a slice of lemon cream pie. Talk about sugar overload. But berry syrups are a different story—they add bold, tart flavor without a lot of excessive sweetness. This quick and simple bumbleberry syrup is a great way to dress up unfrosted cakes and summer sundaes.

The inspiration for this recipe was planted years ago. I have been lucky enough to have spent a portion of almost every summer of my life on Martha's Vineyard. As a girl, one of my favorite things to do was stop at Morning Glory Farm on the way back from the beach to pick up groceries for dinner. This always included a freshly baked pie, still steaming inside its paper box. If we got there early enough, we snapped up blueberry or strawberry-rhubarb. Too late, and we had to settle for apple (not a terrible fate, but who really wants apple pie in July or August?). On the rare occasion we arrived at just the right moment, we got my absolute favorite: bumbleberry.

Just what was a bumbleberry? It wasn't until I was a bit older that I realized a bumbleberry wasn't a thing itself but a mixture of other berries. Usually there are blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, but you can use any combination you like. This near-effortless syrup can be stored in the fridge for several months, or preserved in a hot water bath and kept on the shelf for up to a year. The uses for it are endless: stir it into summery cocktails, flutes of Champagne or lemonade; swirl it into yogurt or oatmeal, or drizzle it over ice cream, cakes, and pies.

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About the Author: Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets. She is currently at work on a second book about homemade food gifts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dachshund.