One of my favorite toppings for my Cream Waffles and Jersey Cream Waffles is fresh blackberry syrup. In fact, I invented those Cream Waffle recipes specifically as an accompaniment to fruit syrups, berry syrups in particular. Regular waffles have such pronounced egg and butter tones that I wanted a more neutral field, where the fruit syrups could shine without conflict.
This particular recipe is sweet, without being overwhelming. The fruit is more center-stage than the sugar, and it has a beautiful acidity.
As for the process . . . it’s pretty simple. Granted, you’ll need a digital candy thermometer, fruit/potato masher, wooden spoon, 2qt. high-walled, saucepan, fine-mesh strainer, funnel, and a 16oz. bottle — but it only takes 15-20 minutes.
makes about 14oz. of syrup
1. Rinse the blackberries in a collander, and then add them to a high-walled 2qt. saucepan. The syrup bubbles up a lot during the cooking, so it’s crucial to use the right pan and quantity of berries.
2. Affix a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and then add 100g of water to the berries. Cook over a medium-low heat, just to boiling.
3. After severeal minutes at a boil, the berries will begin to break down slightly, and you can add the sugar. There’s no need to stir yet.
4. Once the mix again begins to approach ~100°C/212°F, use a fruit/potato masher to gently break apart the berries in the pan. There will still be large pieces; you only need to break them down a litte.
5. Using a wooden spoon, stir continuously until the mixture reaches ~104°C/220°F. Remove from the heat and set aside.
6. Fill a 16oz. bottle with hot tap water, and set it aside. Boil 16oz. of water. Then empty the 16oz bottle of tap water and fill it with the boiling water. We’re trying to bring the temp of the bottle up gradually, so as not to shock/shatter it when we add the syrup.
7. Give the bottle a few minutes to absorb the heat of the boiling water, then empty it out. Insert the funnel into the bottle, and position the strainer above it.
8. Pour your berry syrups into a large measuring cup or other container that will making pouring into the strainer easy.
9. Then pour the berry syrup into the strainer, occasionally stirring it a bit to allow the syrup to flow through the mass of berries.
Once all the syrup is in your bottle, close it up and stick it in the fridge. It should keep for at least a week. As for the leftover berries you’ll have in your sieve, you can use them in other baked goods, as ice cream topping or anything else you can dream up.