This blueberry syrup is simple and magnificent on pancakes, waffles, even pork chops. Here’s how to make it.
This homemade blueberry syrup is certain to banish memories you may have of that cloyingly sweet pancake house staple that smacks of artificial flavors and colors. Fairly bursting with fresh blueberry flavor, this spectacular blueberry syrup has virtually no end to its uses. Drizzle it on pancakes or waffles, natch. Swirl it through plain yogurt. Dribble it in lemonade. Slather it over pork chops. Stir it into ice cream. Dab it atop pound cake. Or surprise yourself—and us!—by concocting a new use for it and letting us know.–Angie Zoobkoff
☞ Table of Contents
- In a small dish, whisk together 2 tablespoons water and the cornstarch.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the remaining 1 cup water, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and blueberries and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and gently simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes for fresh berries or about 14 minutes for thawed frozen berries.
- Add the reserved cornstarch mixture to the pan and continue to cook, stirring constantly and crushing blueberries with the back of a spoon or with a potato masher, until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency, 2 to 7 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Strain the slightly cooled syrup through a strainer, if desired. (If you prefer a thicker, more sauce-like consistency, skip the straining. If you prefer a smoother, silkier syrup, definitely strain the syrup.) Serve the blueberry syrup immediately. Cover and refrigerate any leftover syrup for up to 1 week.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Growing up, I had a friend whose mom bought the bottled blueberry syrup for pancakes. I was secretly jealous of her breakfast condiment. This blueberry syrup recipe is SO much better than the bottled stuff of my childhood memories. It comes together with minimal effort, is healthier, and very delicious. There is a pleasing hint of maple and vanilla. The sugar could probably be reduced by a tad.
We enjoyed it on homemade pancakes for breakfast and drizzled over pound cake and vanilla ice cream later for dessert. I was having difficulty mashing the berries with a spoon. So I switched to a potato masher, which was much easier. I used a small berry colander to strain, which worked well. Not wanting to waste anything, I put the small amount of berries left from straining over plain yogurt—delicious!
This blueberry syrup is an all-terrain, all-season dessert drizzle that took less time to make than my pancake batter, is as easy to pull together as your Thanksgiving cranberry relish, and has so many possibilities.
I worked with fresh blueberries. The modest amount of vanilla was perfectly appropriate–there is a discreet little whisper of vanilla that you detect amidst the blueberry richness. The yield was 275 ml, just about a couple tablespoons more than a cup. This was a wonderful syrup for, of course, pancakes and therefore waffles and French toast. (Take a well-deserved break, maple syrup!) I’m looking forward to a spoonful over vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt and granola. It will be lovely over a lime and blueberry cake infused with a puckery lime syrup.
This blueberry syrup is a dead-easy reminder that excellent syrups with real flavor are easily made at home. Blueberries seem to be abundant year-round now, although the sweetness will vary and you might want to adjust for that.
My blueberries were lush and large and on the sweet side, so the recipe seemed a little sweet when I tasted it neat but it was just fine over a sourdough waffle or mixed into a glass of fresh lemonade. It’s also delicious spooned over ice cream, yogurt, etc.
I was surprised to see the cornstarch since I think of the blueberry as a fairly high-pectin fruit, but I think the role of this slurry is more to stabilize and thicken the syrup earlier so it doesn’t need to be cooked as long, preserving the freshness of the berry. Of course, I don’t actually think you will see this syrup hang around too long.
This blueberry syrup is a perfectly speedy pancake, waffle, or dessert sauce for just about anything! I topped slices of grilled pound cake with the syrup and it was a hit. I’ll admit that we like a texture to the sauce, so I didn’t strain out the crushed blueberries. Therefore, mine would probably be considered a “fruit sauce” instead of a “syrup.” It doesn’t matter what you call it—it was still fruity and delicious! I think I may try blackberries next time.
This blueberry syrup hits the perfect notes with its pure blueberry flavor and restrained use of sugar. It’s a wonderful addition to pancakes and ice cream. It also makes a delicious Italian soda and, with the addition of vodka, a blueberry martini. (I always love to have a signature cocktail at my parties and the blueberry martini with sugared rim will be on my next menu!) Who doesn’t love one syrup that can be used in so many ways?
This recipe is a cinch and takes only 25 minutes from start to finish. After first following the directions as written, I did add a pinch more salt (approximately 1/8 tsp) and 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. I probably could have upped the lemon juice to 1 teaspoon. The addition of the juice enhanced and brightened the flavor of the blueberries. This syrup was first a hit in my household poured over traditional pancakes. The second time I used it, I made lemon ricotta pancakes. They were out of this world served with the blueberry syrup.
The thought of making from scratch something I usually buy in the store got me excited. Excited enough to make it twice. Once using frozen blueberries and then using fresh blueberries. I will say we loved the fresh blueberry flavor so much better over the version made with frozen blueberries. The frozen blueberry syrup had little blueberry flavor and the maple and vanilla flavors were stronger. The fresh berries produced a very nice blueberry flavor with just a hint of maple and vanilla.
I used this on waffles in the morning and in my unsweetened tea that afternoon. It was a very nice touch to the tea. Later that night I had a meringue nest with fresh berries and a drizzle of this blueberry syrup. It was heaven on a plate.
The recipe is simple and I can see using this with other berries to make different syrups.
This blueberry syrup is so much more delicious than any store-bought or restaurant berry syrup that I have ever eaten! It made our usual Saturday morning pancakes something fresh and new. The syrup was also wonderful served cold with plain Greek yogurt as well as on angel food cake with whip cream. My favorite way to serve the syrup (besides on pancakes) was heated atop warm cornbread with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Corn and blueberries belong together!!! In the future, I will try it on cornmeal pancakes.
Make sure to double the recipe as it did not last long in our house! In the future, I will not strain the syrup and I will add only 1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries.
This WONDERFULLY simple blueberry syrup is, in the words of culinary legend Snoop, “The Shizzle.” The recipe takes just about 30 minutes, which was an absolute surprise to me. I’m not generally a pancake guy and am currently dipping my toe into the pool that is Weight Watchers, so waffles are pushing the proverbial envelope.
I’d like to mention that blueberry syrup can be used for nearly anything at any time of day. I used it on a turkey breast just out of the smoker. I drizzled it over an Ina Garten roast chicken that had been lovingly carved by my fabulous wife. I added a pinch of cayenne to the blueberry syrup and used it with a spectacular pork loin. The possibilities for this blueberry syrup are endless. I guess what I’m really trying to say is, blueberry syrup, it’s not just for breakfast anymore!
There is a blueberry farmer from Michigan who comes to my farmers market year round with beautiful frozen blueberries—among the best I’ve ever had. We nibble on frozen blueberries all through the market day, either by themselves or atop the freshly prepared waffles that one of the baker vendors sells. These are the blueberries that I used for this recipe. They are somehow fragrant even when frozen, and when thawed, they are aromatic, plump, and lovely to work with.
To get the mixture to slightly thickened took me more than 10 minutes and my berries seemed to get juicier before they thickened up. Once I added in the cornstarch, the mixture had a nearly instantaneous thickening. After cooling, I didn’t heavily strain my concoction; rather, I purposely left more than a little berry in the final product because I like texture with my foods in general. It was delicious and it was also quite sweet—with berries as fine as these, I think the recipe could state a range, with a full 1/2 cup being the maximum. Doing this over with these berries, I would definitely use less sugar. Lastly, while I am generally quite conservative when it comes to storage times, I am quite certain this would last much longer than the 1 week specified, though it would be hard to keep it around that long at my house.
Shall we look at some wonderful ideas to use this syrup? Atop yogurt. As a layer in a yogurt parfait. Over cottage cheese, if you like your cottage cheese with sweet fruity toppings. Atop pancakes and waffles. Drizzled onto a cheese board. Over ice cream or frozen yogurt or semifreddo or gelato. Use as one of the toppings on a banana split. Stirred into oatmeal or cream of wheat. As a smoothie flavoring. Pour over cut fruit, a fruit salad, or fresh berries. Top a pudding or rice pudding or tapioca pudding or a light mousse, or a panna cotta, or drizzle atop a fruit tart.
Originally published June 27, 2020