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Wild Idaho Huckleberries

29 Aug

The last few weekends our family has gone out foraging for wild huckelberries in the mountains northeast of boise.  We have picked about 8-10 cups worth over the last 2 weekends.  It’s quality family time and teamwork and a good workout as you will hike up and around the local hillsides enjoying wildlife and nature.

Recipes:

Huckleberry Syrup:

3 C Huckleberries, 5cups of sugar (if you want a thicker syrup – reduce to 4/12 cups of sugar and add 1/2 cup light corn syrup).  Crush berries on bottome of heavy, deep, stock pot – I also add about 1 cup of water too.  Add the sugar and stir constantly over med-high heat until sugar melts and then starts to boil.  Get it to a high boil then turn off and remove from stove.  Do not over boil.  Can in jars and water bath process for 10-15 minutes for pints and less.  Do not pressure can.

I use huckleberry syrup in cocktails and add a couple of tablespoons to a cup of regular maple syrup to pour over pancakes.  This is potent stuff, so use sparingly. start small and add more.  A favorite is a huckleberry cosmopolitan, yum!  I also add berries to those pancakes mentioned above for a super huckelberry treat.

Huckleberry Jam:

4-5 cups of huckleberries, water, lemon juice, one package of pwdred pectin, 7 cups of sugar.

I am rough with the amount of huckleberries, because you crush them and then add enough water to bring measured amount upto 5 cups.  It’s fine – when you are out picking you can’t measure…..In a deep stock pot, crush berries,add, water, 2T lemon juice (which you NEED in order for the pectin to gel as Huckleberries are not high in natural pectin and acid helps to “gel” with pectin).  Cook, stir constantly over high heat and bring to boil you can’t stir down then add all the sugar at once and stir constantly until you bring to a constant rolling boil.  BOIL for ONE MINUTE.  Then remove from heat.  Put into jars, and waterbath only, 10-15 minutes for pints or less.  You can freeze too if you.  You can also, jar and keep in fridge for a few weeks, sugar is a natural preservative (if you are planning to hand out for immediate use).

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