50 Shades of Syrup!

50, I’ll bet that you can come up with at least that number of syrups to make. If not you aren’t trying. Now think a little harder. While you think about those syrups, here is something to read. After reading I will bet that you start at 50. Let’s get started!

What does pancakes, waffles, french toast and ice cream sundaes and banana splits have in common? Yes you guessed right, it is syrup. I am not talking about just Maple Syrup, I am also talking about fruit syrup. Blueberry-SundaeThe making of home-made fruit syrup is real easy. You need 3 things: Juice of whichever fruit you use, sugar and you need corn syrup. I am not talking about high-fructose corn syrup. I am talking about regular corn syrup from your grocery store shelves. I thing most recognize Karo Syrup, that is corn syrup. With an easy methods of making different syrups. I hope that you will make more than one kind. I am sure you try the different flavors when you go to IHOP or your favorite pancake house. Why not have all those kinds on your home table, turn your home into a gourmet breakfast table. Use them for breakfast or use them for dessert. They are great tasting and pretty cheap to make. All it take s is just a little time and a lot of thought. Decide what you would like and then make it. I tell people who if you don’t have a good imagination, you can’t be a great cook.

SqueezeGrowing up in Florida I got used to eating Cane Syrup on my pancakes or waffles. That kind of syrup comes from sugar cane that has been squeezed to extract the juice, then boiled and skimmed then jarred up ready to eat. It was thicker and darker than my bottled of maple syrup. We also had Sorghum Syrup which is also made from cane, just a special kind of cane is used. My father loved cane syrup, so we always had it on the table. Unless you have a field of cane and the means to process, we won’t talk about how to make it. maple-syrupSo that means we have to drop Maple Syrup from our discussion. Maple syrup comes from trees that tapped and a container hug on it to collect the sap.Boiling cane

This is boiled down and skimmed to make crystal clear syrup.The next step is putting into jars and sold.

Well that leaves us fruit juices to make our syrups from. There are an infinite number of fruits so let’s get busy. Pick a couple of favorite to start with. You could pick more, but let’s start with just 2 this time. You can do more when you have been successful with you first batch.

StrawBlue2I would almost net that most of you pick one of two fruits to make your syrup. Strawberry and or Blueberry. They are by far the most commons picks. You might have picked another, but let’s start with these. Thankfully they are both available year round fresh or frozen. To be honest, it is easier to make from frozen fruit than it is fresh. Frozen fruit when thawed is already mushy or broken up. If you thaw a container of strawberries, you have fruit and juice. To process your thawed fruit put in a blender or food processor then purée. Take the pureed fruit and put in a large bowl. Straining juiceAdd sugar, 1 cup for every 3 cups fruit. Let this mixture set over night in the bottom of your refrigerator. The next day mix completely and strain the juice. If you have a large strainer don’t use but a couple of cups at a time. Pour the mixture in and let set for a couple of minutes. You will get juice collecting in the container under the strainer. Use as large a hole strainer as possible. Only have one, well just use it to the best. When the flow slows down, use a spoon to press the pulp and get more juice. When you have about all the juice, save the pulp and make jam of ice cream topping. Just all a little more sugar and it taste great.

Your juice collection will more than likely have bits of fruit in it. You can keep them in your syrup or you can strain again. I like to have my syrup fruit-free, no bits or pieces. pancakes2I can always add fruit, but you can’t always take it out. Use your syrup on a stack of pancakes or waffles with whole fruit added is down right a thing of beauty. Decorate with bacon or sausage you have a meal that is hard to beat. Do t like they have done in the photo. Mix up the fruits, use more than one and make sure one is banana. Such a great taste, it doesn’t matter which syrup you use.

Fruit Syrup6 cups juice, 3 cups sugar, 2 cups light corn syrup. a same lite corn syrup, but you can use corn syrup if that is all you have. I like lite because it is less sweet, the flavor or the fruit comes thru better. It is up to you.

To make your syrup after you have collected the juice is quite easy. The recipe for just about every syrup is the same. coming up with the right juices to use is not a problem either.

I start my search in my local grocery store. They have more than enough flavors to make a truly international gourmet table. I look for juices that are not from concentrate. I want only juice, concentrate means the juice is boiled down to make shipping easier. The bottler adds water. So I find that those types don’t make the best syrup. has mostly water.In the regular juice section I find grape, apple, cherry, cranberry and pomegranate along with a couple more. GroceryNow I don’t stop there, time to head over to the Latin American section and then the Asian section of the store.

In those sections I run across many other juices, some I am familiar and so not. If I don’t know I ask, if that doesn’t work I pass. I can always come back a buy just one and try it to see if I like it enough that I want to use.

In the Latin American section I find all kinds of tropical juices; mango, guava, and papaya. I pick a couple of them, especially mango and guava. I really like to eat those fruits. In the Asian section I find many more juices. Again some I am familiar , so not. I pick lychee nut (which is really a fruit). With all the flavors I have picked, I am sure to have a great variety of things to make syrup from. A special note: Don’t make them all at the same time. Make it 2 or 3 cooking sessions. When I cook to many different taste I tend to  not make my best. If I just do a couple of things they come out just like I like them. Many things need just a little more care than others. Another place to get juices for your syrups is Health Food Stores. They have many juices that are pure juice, no additives or preservatives. Some of our best syrups came from juice at a health food store. If you don’t know of one, check the yellow pages. No yellow pages, just goggle Health Food Stores in your town.

Now it is time to cook. I have my juices, sugar, lite corn syrup and bottles or jars. If I am going to use the syrup right away I have containers for my table to pour in the syrup. All the rest needs to be put in canning jars and processed just like jelly. I use 8 ounce canning jars because that is about what my syrup jars hold. The canning jars are available just about everywhere. Grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Big Lots, Dollar General. All you have to do is look for them or ask your store manager, they will direct you to them. Something I found out that surprised me, Big Lots sells more canning jars than other store. Large quantity  low price, hard to beat. To can your syrup pour into jars to within 1/4 inch from the top. Take a damp paper towel and clean the rim before you put on the sterile dome. Processing jarsPlace the ring on next and finger-tighten. That means not too tight so that air can’t escape during boiling. And not too loose so that water leaks in and spoils my syrup. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. The jars have to be in a rack or something to keep them from touching the bottom. If they do, they will explode and that is a mess to clean, not to mention the remaining jars have to have the rings removed and the jar cleaned before replacing the ring and reprocessed. A canning pot is also in most stores that carry the jars. They only cost about $10 and are well worth it.

Syrup ContainersNow you have your syrup and have canned the rest. What to with the extras. How about gifts to friends and family. A gift that is homemade means more than something from a store. You have taken the time to cook this item and canned it, not to mention the gift package. Syrup containers are very inexpensive and really brighten the day. You see canning jars, but you also see other types of syrup containers. Great GiftIf the person already has a container to use for the syrup, then a canning jars is OK. But if you are not sure, use a more decorative container. Think how you would feel if someone made homemade blueberry syrup and give you a syrup container to put it in. That is a gift that will never be forgotten.

Now you have the knowledge on how to make a gourmet syrup for your family and a great gift for someone . it is time to get busy. Remember the basics 6/3/2 Juice/Sugar/Corn Syrup. Boil for 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Get busy!!! strawberry-icecreamhen make some waffles, pancakes or french toast. Not to mention making an ice cream sundae with fruit and syrups. Whatever flavor you pick add fruit then pour over it the fruit syrup from that fruit. Truly delightful!

snow conesJust another thought, something I am sure you have not thought of. Use your flavored syrups to make Snow Cones for you kids. Just think anybody can make Kool Aid snow cones. But how many can make Blueberry or Strawberry snow cones. Treat your kids and the neighbors kids to something extra special.

Some shaved ice + a plastic cup +fruit syrup = a summer treat that is hard to beat. Try it with the adults, but this time add some rum or vodka to make an adult summer time treat. Never thought of that did you? When you do this you are going to plant a flag in the sand and say “Top this”. You family and neighbors will really be surprised. A treat that they enjoyed growing up is now a treat to enjoy as an adult.

Just one more syrup before we go. Mary Lynn made a syrup that we sold in our business. This syrup was so awesome that it sold out almost as soon as we sampled it. It uses maple syrup and crushed pecans. It was called Pecan Praline Syrup. To make this syrup you need good maple syrup (I mean the good stuff), chopped pecans, and dark corn syrup and brown sugar. So here is my final recipe:

PralinePecan Praline Syrup:  3 cups brown sugar, 3 cups dark corn syrup, 4 cups pecan, chopped finely. Mix all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Stir to prevent sticking. Let it cook for at least 5 minutes. Mix well and pour carefully into syrup containers or jars. This is one of the best tasting syrup I have ever ate. A note before pouring on, shake up to syrup. the pecans float to the top. If you use pour from a container that has a small mouth, nothing or very little will come out. Stir or mix it and you might get more than you wanted. Take a moment and do this and you will get in a taste treat! Put it on ice cream or cake or just about everything. Some have even used this to make caramel muffins or sticky buns. Experiment, I am sure you can find the best way for you, If you would like the recipe for sticky buns or muffins made with the Praline Syrup. Send me a e-mail and I will e-mail it back to you.

I hope that you have come up with 50 or at least more than you ever thought about. You are held back by only your imagination. Well I have run out of room to talk. I am not typing, I am talking with my fingers. i hope you try some of these and enjoy them. I am sure your breakfast table will never be the same. IHOP, no, but close with no crowds and no check at the end of the meal. The tip is left up to your family. Dig in and enjoy!!!!!

One last thing, I hate to bring this up again but, I am sorry to say that if you sent me a comment and it was not posted. I deleted it along with the unbelievable amount of SPAM that I receive. I guess I am getting popular with the people (not really my word for them) who dump this stuff on blog writers. They all have a different name and link to a different site. I hope that any other of the blog writers that read this don’t have this problem. Well with that said for the last time ever. It is time to wrap this up and hit publish. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs as much as I enjoy writing them.

Don’t forget…. let me know what you would like to make or any ideas you have for the next blog. Also if you have any questions you would like me to try to solve. Just drop me a note at jellymanga@gmail.com.

Don’t keep my blogs a secret, pass the word on to your friends, neighbors and family members. They just might make something and share with you.

Please feel free to SHARE my blog on Facebook or Twitter or even MySpace.com. I want to get as many people exposed to the good things as possible. So share and ask your friends to share, PLEASE.

Don’t forget, if someone asks you can you can it? 

Say YES I can can it.AaaChef Hat

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About Pete Austin & The Austin House

My wife, Mary Lynn and I had a very sucessful canning business for over 15 years, called The Austin House Jams & Jellies. We had to close it due to pure health. I will be writing a blog about some of the recipes, and how to use them. Also some of the interesting, funny, weird things that have happened in our traveling with the business. If you follow me, you will see that I look at things just a little different than others. If you look at the header at the top of the page, you see that I am looking at things. Making sure eveything looks as good as possible.
This entry was posted in Apple, Award Winning, Best of Show, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cinnamon Sticks, Coconut, Cookies, Cooking, Food Preservation, Fritters, Fruit Dipping Sauce, Fruit Syrups, Fuzzy Navel, Georgia National Fair, Grape, Ground Ginger, Home Made, Ice Cream, Muscadine, Native American, No artifical ingredients, No preservatives, Old Fashioned, Oranges, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Plum, Raspberry, Recipe, Strawberry, Syrups and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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