Christmas morning, as I was cooking a breakfast of homemade French toast and homemade syrup, I got thinking about when I bought some syrup, instead of making it. We went fishing for the weekend and I thought that I would buy some syrup because it would be easy to transport. After tasting the high priced syrup my kids threw a fit and refused to eat any more of it. I ended up throwing the contents away, making the homemade syrup and pouring it into the purchased syrup’s container. Lesson learned.
Making homemade syrup is really cheap and easy, but for years, if I had any left over, it would turn to sugar crystals, and I would have to reheat it to use it again. I have solved that problem – just add a bit of corn syrup. This has something to do with chemistry and how crystals bond together. Apparently, the corn syrup will not allow the sugar crystal to complete its chemical form and so it stays liquid. You don’t have to use very much. I always just pour in a glop (translated - that is probably about one+/- tablespoon – don’t you dare measure it).
Homemade Maple Syrup
2 cups sugar (2 cups white OR 1 cup white, 1 cup brown OR 2 cups brown)
1 cup water
½-1 teaspoon of maple flavoring – or more/less to taste (I don’t measure)
a glop of corn syrup (about +/- tablespoon)
a pinch of salt (optional)
Add all ingredients and stir periodically until it comes to a full boil. Serve on French toast, waffles, pancakes, or anything else that requires syrup.
My favorite combination is 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup brown. The brown sugar just gives it have a little richer flavor. The real reason that I like that combination is so that I don’t forget the recipe; I just have to remember 1:1:1 (white, brown, water), flavoring and a glop – very simple.
The corn syrup trick works with anything that can go sugary. The next time you make grandma’s favorite fudge recipe make sure to add a touch of corn syrup and you will never have to worry about it “going to sugar” and tasting less than smooth and creamy. I tried it and it really works. And remember – you don’t have to measure it! You just want to get enough in so that the sugar molecules can’t complete their crystalline form – and you really don’t need a lot.
Another really yummy syrup is Orange Blossom Syrup. This is a very light tasting syrup that makes me think of having brunch in an English garden in full bloom (one that I didn’t have to weed). You have to try this one at least once. My favorite thing to eat it with is waffles.
Orange Blossom Syrup
1 ½ cups corn syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
Boil 2 minutes, then add:
¾ tablespoon almond extract
¾ tablespoon orange extract
Can use vanilla instead of almond and any other flavor instead of orange. The smell of this syrup is divine! And, if you have an English garden that you can borrow for the afternoon – even better!