I drove all over Ottawa to try to find on the bush barberries for my class on “winter foraging” for Practicum (local SCA event) and failed. Here is a recipe with dried barberries from a grocery store, like a normal person would do.
To make conserue of Barberies. Take your Barberies and pick them clean, and set the over a soft fire, and put to them Rosewater as much as you think good, then when you think it be sodde enough, strain that, and then seethe it again, and to every pound of Barberies, one pound of sugar, and meat your conserve. The Second part of the good Hus-wiues Iewell (1597)
1/4 cup of dried barberries
2 tbsp rose water
2 tbsp raw cane sugar
- place barberries and rose water in a small sauce pan and simmer the fruit on medium until berries absorb some of the liquid and are quite soft (~5 minutes). Stir constantly.
- Drain fruit. If the liquid has turned black you’ve burnt it and start again. Weigh fruit.
- Add fruit back to pot with equal weight of sugar and a tbsp of water. Simmer this mixture on medium high for ~5 minutes. It will be a sauce that should last for some time in the fridge.
The berries actually tasted really good at step 2. Possibly better than after sugar was added, so it just proves you never can tell.