Chile Blackberry Syrup Recipe

Inspired by a recipe in the September 2007 issue of Gourmet Magazine - a slow-burning, sweet and spicy, chile-infused blackberry syrup. It's great in spritzers, cocktails, on toast, in oatmeal, and on and on.

Chile Blackberry Syrup

For those of you with summer blackberries on hand, you must must must try this recipe. It doesn't lake long, and you are left with enough sweet & spicy, chile-infused blackberry syrup to keep your taste buds tingling right into August. I clipped the recipe out of an issue of Gourmet Magazine years ago. Actually, here we go, it was September 2007. I switched up the chiles, made a few other tweaks, and have been using the syrup to spritz up sparkling water all week. It's also great swirled into yogurt, oatmeal, and crème fraîche. Other good ideas: use it to slather on buttered toast, drizzle over goat cheese, and I imagine it'd be a flashy, unexpected offering at any pancake, crepe, or waffle brunch.

Chile Blackberry Syrup Recipe

Gourmet highlighted their original version of the syrup alongside a bourbon-based cocktail (Briar Patch recipe here), and a version of a Desert Sunrise (can't find a version of it online). If you think of it as a homemade spicy grenadine, I suspect you can imagine all sorts of cocktail applications. But don't limit it to cocktails, quite frankly, it seems like its uses are boundless. I keep thinking about working it into a cheesecake. You know how Humboldt Fog goat cheese has a thin layer of vegetable ash running through it? What if, using that as inspiration, you had a thin vein of the chile blackberry syrup run through the cream cheese filling - where you'd only see it after slicing into the cake? So the flash is a bit understated and unexpected. Or you could use it in a simple vinaigrette, or as part of a fruit salad. On the savory front, I'm tempted to make a chile blackberry yogurt, and use it to top some lentil soup.

Chile Blackberry Syrup Recipe

Anyhow, I'm sure there are a thousand things you could think of here. Let me know if you try anything particular interesting, or find a pairing that works particularly well.

I hope those of you in the U.S. enjoy the long summer weekend and get plenty of sunshine, spritzy drinks, and sparklers.

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Chile Blackberry Syrup Recipe

The original recipe calls for 4 dried pasilla chiles (1 oz). I had guajillo chiles on hand and substituted those. Either way, the resulting syrup is going to pack a good amount of punch. Actually, its more like a slow-motion punch, where - for minutes - the heat smolders and lingers as it moves through your body. I suspect two or two-and-a-half chiles will yield a mild syrup, for those of you weary of too much heat. The syrup keeps covered, and chilled for a few weeks.

4 dried guajillo peppers (1 oz - see head notes)

1 cup / 6 oz / 170g dark Muscovado sugar or dark brown sugar

1 cup / 7 oz / 200 g organic sugar
1 1/2 cups / 355 ml water
1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
3/4 cups / 3.5 oz blackberries

Trim the stems from the dried chiles. Tear chiles into pieces and drop (along with seeds) into a medium saucepan. Stir in the sugars, water, and lemon juice, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Boil, stirring regularly, until the mixture has reduced to 2 cups / 475 ml, roughly 20 - 30 minutes.

In the meantime, puree the blackberries. I used a hand blender in a small bowl, but a standard blender is also an option. Force the berries through a fine-mesh strainer, and discard any seeds. Set the berry puree aside.

Once the chile mixture has reduced, remove from heat, and (carefully) puree it with a hand blender until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a heat-proof bowl. Press on the remaining solids in the strainer to squeeze out any syrup, and discard the remaining solids.

Whisk the berries into the chile syrup and set aside to cool. Place in a jar, or smaller jars, and refrigerate.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Adapted from a recipe in the September 2007 issue of Gourmet Magazine, who adapted it from a Junior Merino recipe.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 30 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

I've done a very similar recipe with blueberries and Thai super-hots, without pureeing or straining the berries. It was a great BBQ sauce! I'm getting ready to try a similar recipe with dark cherries and hot lemon peppers. Can't get enoughh of the sweet-heat this summer!

Steve Simon

This is one recipe that I will copy and save for those weeks in late July when the bumper of blackberries comes in here in New Hampshire. My husband adores all things blackberry (except the techno one!) and will have a ball with this syrup. I especially like your idea of the syrup drizzled over chevre ... yes, a good idea!

this is a great idea! too bad we don't have these blackberries around yet, but i bet we're gonna see 'em real soon, and maybe we do have them and i don't know since i missed the market today :)... either way, i'm sure this is great with other berries too!

Beautifully deep flavored syrup. I can practically taste it just by your pictures. I would love to put it on some buttermilk pancakes or perhaps drizzled on a sponge cake.

I just made a batch and it was so good that I right away made another batch to give to friends. I think it's best straight out of the bowl with a spoon. I'd add more chilis next time. Yoghurt, etc. robs it of the heat.

Judy

What can't chiles be added to! I have to restrain myself from putting them in everything. I think I'm an addict... uh-oh. Kathleen

If you google, "cocktail recipe: Desert Sunrise" you will find a plethora of results for this vodka drink. There was also a "Desert Healer" (gin) recipe thrown in that would work with this syrup.

Janet

This looks amazing. I love that I found the blackberry limeade post right below this post. That sounds like a perfect drink for right about now.

This looks wonderful, but about two months off. We're still barely into raspberries here (Seattle). It's a cabbage summer. You have sun in SF today? I envy you!

Theano

I have that exact Gourmet mag lying around here for the same reason -- loved that syrups article, and it launched me into making a ton of different syrups. Love the idea of infusing the chiles. Steve's chiles de arbol would certainly pack a punch. I've had a hard time with those particular chiles because they are *so* hot. I bet they'd be good here. HS: Oooh! If you're a fan of those chiles, you have to make the sauce I included in the back of SNC - I think its around page 200. I drizzle it on everything - crepes, eggs, sandwiches, etc, etc. I think it calls for 8 -10 and a bunch of garlic.

This looks amazing. I bet it would be great with chicken too.

Pinklotus

Delicious! Made something quite similar recently with the amazing blackberries growing locally. Passed on some to friends saying, "You may not know what to do with this now, but you will very soon." The responses have been delightful!

This sounds great Heidi, I may have to make this. I have Steve Sando's de Arbol chilies in my pantry and I suspect one whole de Arbol, without even breaking it up, would be enough to give it quite some heat. What do you reckon? HS: Hey Sam! I think I would start in the realm of three? For a good amount of flavor, spiciness, etc. Although using one might be subtle, and nice....let me know if you give it a try, I can update the head notes w/ your results. I love arbol chiles, and think they'd work well here. I think if you break up the chiles it'll infuse the syrup better, but it all gets pureed in the end anyway so....Hope you are enjoying the SF sun today.

Sam

Yum, I just made this but with 1.5 Habenero's (guajillo peppers are hard to find in Australia).It was perfect with the last recipe (Chocolate Loaf Cake) which I overcooked - darn fan forced oven! Oh an ice-cream.....so good - thanks Heidi!

Em

Terrific idea for a cocktail use and also I love the yogurt idea on top of lentil soup! Thanks

The cheesecake idea does indeed sound heavenly! Heidi, any alternate suggestions for chiles? We live in pepper-starved New England and although I have PLENTY of blackberries ready to ripen just down the end of my driveway, I don't know where I'd find guajillo chiles.....

lisa

Ashley, I am so glad I found this recipe. We have blackberries growing on bushes just outside. I love the chili component in this. The photos and ideas that you have are just great! :-)

I love your recipes!! The combination of chile & sweets works perfectly even though people still don't believe it! Chile & hot cocoa is also a favourite sweet & Chile combination I love!

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