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Labor Day weekend came and went, and guess what? It’s still summer! Gardens everywhere are galloping at full tilt, and even in our own little patch, something is ripening, ready for the picking, each minute. That doesn’t stop me, though, from braking at practically every farm stand I pass—especially when I catch sight of the blaze of sapphire that means local blueberries. I can’t not buy some. Okay, lots.

Blueberries are an important element in a jumbleberry pie, and they make a deep-flavored cobbler or buckle, as well. But over the holiday weekend, I found a bottle of juniper berries lurking in the pantry, and I recollected a good use for them and some of my blueberries in Gourmet Today: More Than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen, the “big green book” that came out in 2009, shortly before Conde Nast folded the magazine. (I know, I know! What were they thinking?)

Anywho, I’d forgotten just how sophisticated yet staggeringly simple the recipe is. It can be made a day ahead of time, and there’s no need to turn on the oven. In other words, what is not to love? Just spoon the berries and syrup over ice cream, or serve with a plate of sugar cookies. Happy September!

Blueberries in Gin Syrup

From Gourmet Today: More Than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen (Houghton Mifflin, 2009)

Serves 6

Gin adds an herbaceous, amplifying quality all its own, but you can omit it if desired, and this dessert will still be delicious.

1 cup water

¾ cup sugar

15 juniper berries, crushed

1 (4-inch) rosemary sprig

pinch of coarse salt

2 pints blueberries, picked over

¼ cup dry gin

mint sprigs, for garnish

1. Combine water, sugar, juniper berries, rosemary, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil syrup, without stirring, until reduced to about ¾ cup, 10 to 12 minutes.

2. Put blueberries in a heatproof bowl. Pour syrup through a sieve onto berries. Stir in gin. Let stand until completely cooled, about 30 minutes. (Once cooled, the blueberries in gin syrup may be refrigerated, covered, up to 1 day.) Serve berries garnished with mint.

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