So I went to make waffles for the kids this morning and realized I was out of maple flavoring to make the syrup. Ok, what to do. Make Vanilla Syrup? I use both vanilla extract and maple flavoring to make my syrup normally. Then I remembered some blueberries I had in the freezer and thought, aha! blueberry syrup!
So I threw a cup of frozen blueberries into a saucepan, added water, white sugar, and brown sugar and brought it to a boil. After a little while, when the blueberries were bursting and it was starting to thicken a little, I strained out the blueberries, squishing them a little in the strainer to get more juices out, and returned the syrup to the pan.
A little more thickening and it was time to taste.
A spoon. A sip. and aaaah 🙂
But then what did I do?! Me and my vanilla habit 🙂 I added 1/2 a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of vanilla extract. That was it! Not much, right? What did I discover? That the blueberries really brought out the vanilla flavor 🙂
So it was still quite good, but I probably should have either left it as is or added just a smidge of lemon juice to brighten the blueberry flavor, like I do in my pie, if I truly wanted blueberry syrup. Nonetheless I thought it was very worthy of a post, both for the flavor and for the bizarre discovery.
Thus Vanilla Blueberry Syrup was born, with a wonderful flavor of vanilla amongst blueberry overtones.
1 c. (135 g) frozen blueberries
1/2 c. (4 oz, 113 g) cold water
1/2 c. (100 g) white sugar
1/2 c. (110 g) brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
1. Put all ingredients except vanilla extract into a small saucepan.
2. Boil 5 minutes or so, until the blueberries have burst, the syrup is a beautiful blue, and it has thickened slightly. Use a spoon to sample it and you’ll be able to taste that it has thickened slightly if you’re in doubt visually.
3. Strain through a sieve into a bowl, squishing the berries a bit to extract more juice.
4. Pour it back into the pan and boil a few minutes more. Note that I did this rather than straining at the end because it was easier to see how the syrup was doing.
5. Stir in vanilla.
6. Remove from heat and let it cool a bit and it will thicken more.
UPDATE 2mar2012: Changed ml measurement to grams for water. Why use milliliters, a measure of volume, when everything else (except vanilla) is in grams, a weight?! Why not give vanilla in grams? For a couple of reasons. One is that my scales are in increments of 5 grams, but rounding up vanilla to 5 grams would have a vastly different effect on a recipe than a difference of 5 grams of flour. The other reason is that most non-US recipe sites that I see still use teaspoon measurement increments rather than grams for ingredients with such a small quantity even if everything else is in grams.