A Drizzle of Liquid Gold: Homemade Apple Syrup
Recently, I found myself with just over a half-gallon of clear, unsweetened apple cider on the verge of expiring, so I decided to boil it down into a syrup to give it a second life. I considered adding some apple-friendly spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, but ultimately decided to stick with just the straight apple flavor, because I intended to debut the syrup over spiced apple pancakes. Upon tasting the results, I’m so glad I did. This simple apple syrup has a surprising complexity and intensity. In fact, it reminded me a lot of a commercially available, bottled “apple glaze” which we had tasted at Spencer and Adam’s house last summer. I cooked the syrup down on the stove, but in future I will use the slow-cooker so I don’t have to monitor the simmering process so frequently.
Perhaps you are thinking that making your own apple syrup requires too much effort just for dressing pancakes, french toast, and waffles? You may be right, so here are a few suggestions for other ways to enjoy this richly flavorful condiment to make it worth your while:
- Drizzle over brie, camembert, or blue cheese.
- Add to homemade salad dressings.
- Stir into pumpkin or other squash soups.
- Glaze chicken, turkey, or pork.
- Drizzle over roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, or turnips.
- Flavor plain yogurt or cottage cheese.
- Lightly sweeten tea or coffee.
- Mix into cocktails.
If you come up with other ways to enjoy this apple syrup, please let me know in the comments section!
8 cups (half a gallon) unsweetened, clear apple cider
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup vanilla sugar or cane sugar
Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a large pot, stirring to dissolve the sugars. Lower heat to medium-low or transfer to a slow-cooker. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and reduced to about 2 to 2 1/2 cups (about 3 hours). Let cool, then pour through a funnel into a clean bottle, cap, and store in the refrigerator.