Oregon Grape Syrup

It has recently come to my attention that Oregon grapes are edible.

Oregon grape bushes are found everywhere around here and are almost always loaded with fruit in July. All of the foraging guides said that the fruit is slightly bitter and not very good straight off the bush, but that they taste good in jams and jelly’s with a little added sugar. They also said the fruit becomes sweeter after the first frost. This year was so dry I knew that the berries wouldn’t last that long so I figured back in July that I would just go ahead and make some berry syrup with them to see how they tasted.  In a syrup they taste pretty good with sugar. Without they are sort of bland.

Oregon Grape Syrup

Most of the time I make berry syrups without sugar. They don’t store as long, but I keep them in the fridge and use them within a month of making them so that’s okay.

I had to remove the stems bugs, and shriveled berries.

I had to remove the stems bugs, and shriveled berries before starting.

Cooking the berries with water.

Cooking the berries with water.

I only picked a cup of berries and put about half a cup of water over them in a small pot. Then I proceeded to cook them over medium low heat, mashing them with a wooden paddle until all of the berries were broken open and the juice was hot and bubbly.  Usually berries smell good on the stove but these ones were quite intense, an acquired taste?

IMG_20150726_100636122

Using a jam strainer to remove the pulp from my cooked juice.

Using a jam strainer to remove the pulp from my cooked juice.

I then poured the juice through my jam strainer. Its a very useful little gadget but any sieve would work.

If you wanted to add sugar to your syrup, this would be the time. Take the strained juice put it back in the pot and add an equal amount of sugar to it (So if you have a cup of liquid you would add a cup of sugar.) Then you would boil it until the sugar dissolved completely.

One cup of berries didn't make much syrup. But that is okay I just wanted a taste.

One cup of berries didn’t make much syrup. But that is okay I just wanted a taste.

Once the juice was strained from the berry mash, I poured it into a jar, labeled it and let it cool before refrigerating. I did try adding a little sugar to a taste of this syrup and the flavor was quite good. Still I left out the sugar and I simply added it to my morning lemonade for extra kick. It was quite nice.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Recipes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s