Making Huckleberry Syrup
While the following recipe normally gives good results, fruit sugar, pectin, and acid concentrations can vary. Start with a small test batch and allow it to cool thoroughly before testing for syrup thickness. Start by crushing the fruit and pressing out and filtering the juice. If you will not be making syrup immediately, pasteurize the juice by heating it to 194 degrees F (90 degrees C) for one minute, then refrigerate.
The basic syrup recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups of huckleberry juice and 1 3/4 cups of sugar. Adding one tablespoon of lemon juice will make the syrup more tart. Mix the juice and sugar in a large pan and bring the mixture to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Continue to boil for one minute. Remove the syrup from heat and skim off any foam. Pour the syrup into clean, hot jars, following the manufacturer’s directions for sealing the jars. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for ten minutes, making sure they are covered by at least one inch of water. Allow them to cool before labeling and storing on a cool, dark shelf. Refrigerate after opening.
The basic recipe produces a fairly thin syrup. If you want a thicker syrup, use 1 ½ cups of sugar and 1/4 cup of corn syrup in the recipe. Do not add more sugar or boil longer to thicken the syrup because both methods can cause jelling to occur. Corn syrup and lemon juice can be used together.
This fact sheet is contributed by Dr. Danny L. Barney. Dr. Barney is a Professor of Horticulture and Extension Horticulturist specializing in small fruit and ornamental crops, and serves as Superintendent of the University of Idaho Sandpoint Research & Extension Center.