Have you ever created something super delicious in the kitchen that was technically more of a happy accident than a direct reflection of your actual culinary skill? (I laughed out loud as I typed that, because that’s basically how I’d describe my cooking skills in college!) Earlier this week I was faced with a basket full of beautiful blackberries sitting in my refrigerator that needed to be used before they went bad, so I started brainstorming ways that I could utilize them that I had never tried before.
When I asked my husband what he wanted me to make with them, his immediate reaction was for me to make more of my Blackberry Pepper Jelly, but I was truthfully feeling kind of meh about making that. Don’t get my wrong…it’s some dang good pepper jelly, and it’s actually one of my most popular pins on Pinterest! But we still have a decent stock of jelly in our pantry, and you only need so much jelly!
So back to the drawing board I went. I started thinking of another way I could can or preserve them since my family worked really hard together to harvest them. We have a wild blackberry patch on our Grandaddy’s land, and every year we go and pick a crop full!
This was the first year that Taralynn actually took an interest in picking the berries, so I was hoping to make something that she’d enjoy eating, too. Since my daughter and I can go to town on some waffles, I thought I’d take a stab at making Blackberry syrup! If you’ve never tried a berry syrup before, DO IT! I remember my family buying a blueberry syrup on special occasions when I was a kid. It was expensive, so it wasn’t something super common in our house, but I cherished it every time I ate it!
I portioned out about half of the berries we picked and did a quick (and not at all thorough) Google search to get the general idea of how people were making berry syrups. I thought the process looked simple enough, so I just assumed I had the science down pat. I threw some lemon juice, sugar and water in a pan and brought it to a boil. I juiced and strained the berries and added them into the sugar mixture. I waited and waited for the sauce to thicken and turn into a gorgeous syrup concoction, but instead it just turned into a big ‘ol pot of crow that I had to eat. It was a flop!
I poured it into a mason jar and hoped that it would settle and thicken on it’s own as the day went by. I’d check on it every few hours, and it was still just as runny as when I first poured it into the jar! The flavor was pretty on point, but I just couldn’t get over that non-syrupy consistency. So, back to the drawing board I went! I decided to break out my trusty doughnut pans and try my hand and making a batch of blackberry doughnuts, and I finally hit the jackpot on making something truly great with our blackberries, and I even got to utilize my blackberry “syrup” so that I didn’t waste half of our crop!
Here’s a free printable version of the recipe if you want to give it a try…failed syrup and all! 😉
- For the Doughnuts:
- 1 cup all-purpose baking flour
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar - packed
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 Tbs butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg - room temp
- ½ cup blackberry "syrup" juice (see below)
- For Blackberry Syrup:
- ¼ cup sugar
- juice of one large lemon
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups fresh blackberries, carefully washed
- For the Glaze:
- 1½ cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tbs lemon juice
- ½ tsp fresh lemon zest - if available
- Make the syrup first:
- In a medium sauce pan, combine sugar, lemon juice and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. While simmering, pour berries into a blender and pulse. Pour berry mixture into sugar mixture through a fine mesh strainer to ensure no seeds get through. Use a spoon to stir the berries around so you can press as much juice out of them as possible. Transfer to a jar to finish cooling.
- For the doughnuts:
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Spray a doughnut pan thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients
- In a separate bowl, combine heavy whipping cream, melted butter, vanilla and egg.
- Pour ½ cup of the reserved blackberry syrup into the wet ingredients.
- Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients
- Pour batter into a piping bag and gently fill each doughnut tin with batter. Press a few blackberries into the batter before baking if desired.
- Bake for 17 minutes, or until springy
- Allow doughnuts to cool completely before icing.
- For the glaze:
- Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest into a bowl and stir. Spoon over doughnuts and allow glaze to harden just a bit before serving
Once I removed the doughnuts from the oven and allowed them to cool, I whipped up a quick little lemon glaze and topped a few doughnuts with whipped cream. My daughter is ALL about some whipped cream, so I knew I could probably win her over on this recipe with that. These doughnuts have a muffin-type texture, and they make for an absolutely delicious breakfast treat!
I still have a few cups of fresh blackberries left, so I’m thinking of making a pitcher of my Blackberry Lemonade that my husband loves so much. He didn’t get the blackberry pepper jelly that he wanted, but I could tell he was really pleased with these doughnuts, and I know he’ll be pumped about washing them down with a side of lemonade!
How are you utilizing fresh berries during this time of year? Do you have another blackberry recipe that you’d love to share? Perhaps you can school me on how to make a decent blackberry jelly? I’d REALLY love to hear your tips! Leave a comment below and share the love!