Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Brilliant blackberry and chilli syrup

It’s hard to walk past a hedgerow at this time of year without noticing leaves tinged with jewel-hued spheres of green, red and purple. Its blackberry season! Readily available in fruit stores and supermarkets everywhere, it can be much more satisfying, and if you take some enthusiastic friends, a whole lot more fun, to collect your own

A versatile fruit, excellent eaten raw with pancakes, or in a crumble like we also enjoyed (below), there are no shortage of options.

As well as the crumble, which was devoured by myself and a bunch of friends, I wanted to experiment with a slightly longer-lasting blackberry recipe. After an online read around, I decided to experiment with a blackberry and chilli syrup, like the one made by Heidi Swan.

This simple and quick syrup, is rich in flavour, with a slow and firey burn that creeps in at the end of each mouthful.  Heidi suggests swirling into yogurt, oatmeal, and crème fraîche, or on toast, over goats cheese, or pancakes. All delicious options!

At our place it’s been eaten as a late night snack on crackers, added to champagne for a brilliantly sparkly aperitif, and spread on toast topped with blue cheese. The omnivore in our family has also suggested the syrup would be excellent with game – he’s mentioned venison and pheasant. 

Here’s the recipe, slightly adapted from Heidi’s version:

(Makes around 500mL)
    3 tea spoons dried crushed chillies
    1 cup dark Muscovado sugar
    1 cup organic brown sugar
    1 1/2 cups water
    Juice of one large lemon
    1 cup blackberries

 Add the dried chillies, sugars, water, and lemon juice to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Boil, stirring regularly, until the mixture has reduced to 2 cups. This should take around 25 minutes. 

While that’s boiling, puree the blackberries with a hand blender. Strain the berries through a fine-mesh strainer, and set puree aside.

Head back to the stovetop, once the chilli mixture has reduced, remove from heat. Add to the berry mixture and blend until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a heat-proof bowl.

Pour into a bottle and refrigerate. Enjoy!!


Anonymous said...

This stuff sticks to the table, my top tip is clean the table as soon as you spill it!
This syrup is very very tasty with Mel's pancakes.

Melanie said...

Yes, sorry about leaving the table sticky!! Glad you liked the pancakes!

Anna said...

The crumble looks delicious Mel!

Melanie said...

Thanks Anna! It was. Come visit and I'll make you some!!

Jessica said...

Yum! This sounds wonderful!

Melanie said...

Will serve it in Champagne next time you are over! It packs quite a punch!

Anonymous said...

I made a similar recipe last year. It's excellent mixed with duck fat and chicken stock to make a rich sauce to accompany the meat.

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