Friday, January 21, 2011

Fragrant Herb Syrup

Recipe from: The Washington Post, August 25, 2010

Use herb syrup in place of the liquid in cakes, pie filling and all types of baked goods, brush them on warm muffins or pound cakes, drizzle them onto fruits and fruit salads, use them in beverages and to make sorbets.

Although this recipe uses a standard sugar-syrup ratio of water and sugar, you can cut the sugar back to 1 cup, or even 3/4 cup when preparing syrups for herbal libations.

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups raw organic sugar
8 to 10 herb sprigs or a large handful of leaves (about 1 ounce total)

Combine the water and sugar ina small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil, then remove the heat and add the herb leaves, using a spoon to bruise them gently against the side of the pan.

Cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes, to steep and cool to room temperature.

Discard the solids, squeezing them into the pan to extract all of the herbal essence into the syrup. Transfer the syrup to a  clean bottle or canning jar and label. Seal and refrigerate for about 10 days or freeze for 8 or 9 months.

When freezing the syrup, be sure to leave an inch of head space in the container for expansion. When you need just a little syrup for a recipe, remove the jar from the freezer and place it in the sink in a bowl of warm water. When it thaws a bit, pour off what you need and replace it in the freezer.

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