Berry-Lemon SyrupPosted: May 16, 2013
I hope everyone had a beautiful Mother’s Day weekend! I finished up our last showcase on Saturday, which went perfectly smoothly, and now has me calm and collected for the six weeks of prep work and school classes remaining before summer camp. Sunday was nice an simple, with the mum and the mom (and the brother and friends) coming over for a barbecue. I marinated some Buttermilk-Dijon Chicken and then passed it over to M to grill with some quick-rubbed ribs and asparagus while I baked a vegetable gratin and beautiful little pots de cremes that surprised even me with their simplicity. Both will soon be appearing on the blog sooooon! I did not take pictures on Mother’s Day, but that just mean I will have to make both recipes again! Such a shame! (Once again, I am longing for a sarcasm font).
Spring has been fickle here. Since we didn’t get any snow until March, I can’t say that I’m surprise that we’ve been switching from torrential downpours, to gusty gray chills, to sticky, hot humidity over the past two weeks. The only reliable feat of weather was that, when we had to load or unload props and set pieces, the rain would begin. Usually in earnest. Ugh.
But the past two days have been sweltering, in spite of the storm warnings. I think that now, in May, spring may finally have arrived, just in time to shift to summer (I’m knocking on the table right now). And I have finally let go of the warming soups and squash dishes of winter. I’m embracing zucchini, craving berries, peaches, and bright green salads. Though M and I are pretty firmly into a bacon-and-eggs breakfast rut (I’m now out of fruit and yogurt and can’t bring myself to make oatmeal on warm mornings), when I had the extra time to spare I threw together some doctored-up GF Bisquick pancakes. But only after the batter was mixed, did I remember that we had no syrup in the house. We still don’t…it’s one of the those strange pantry essentials that always get missed when making the grocery list.
But we did have berries and lemons, and I figured I could whip up something without much trouble. I happen to love pancakes, especially GF Bisquick’s (I’m withholding my raving for the moment), plain, but I know that I may be in the minority there. Plus, when I have a morning to make pancakes, I’m practically going all out. This berry-lemon syrup really is just fruit steeped in a simple syrup. Crushing the fruit releases some juices, but the boiling and simmering really infuses the flavors. I set my batch simmering and was able to cook my pancake batter in the 15-20 minute simmer time. A quick strain and a stir was all that was left separating this fruity syrup from soft, warm pancakes. Try this for breakfast, it’ll definitely give your day a good start!
- 2 c. mixed berries*
- Juice + zest of 1 large lemon (2-4 tbsp juice, up to 1 Tbsp of zest)
- 3/4 c. water
- 3/4 c. sugar (agave/honey would be fine, just needs more reducing time)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
*I used a mix of blueberries and strawberries, but any combo, or even just 2 cups of one kind of berry, should work just fine.
Use a potato masher or a fork to mash the berries in a medium sauce pan. Add water, stir well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for five minutes. Add in sugar, stir until dissolved. Stir in lemon zest. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain fruit from syrup. If a thicker consistency is desired, return syrup to pot and continue to reduce until desired consistency is reached. Remove syrup from heat, stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract into syrup. Serve warm.
This syrup will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Try it on pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream–anything you can think of! I also reserved my strained fruit pulp to add to smoothies, but you can discard the pulp, if you wish.