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homemade berry syrup

last sunday morning i started to make french toast when i realized we had run out of syrup. “make some!” my husband exclamed from the couch. “do you have a maple tree handy?” when he gave me a blank stare, i settled on making a fruit-based syrup instead. i used frozen strawberries as my fruit, but use whatever fruit you have on hand. as we were eating our breakfast, my husband said that he liked this better than regular maple syrup. guess i’ll be making bigger batches in the future!

ingredients:
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T. molasses
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. fruit

instructions:
1)  add all ingredients to a saucepan set over medium heat. stir with a whisk to combine. when mixture starts bubbling, reduce to a simmer. (this gets extrememly frothy when it starts bubbling, so be careful it doesn’t boil over before you reduce it; i caught mine just in time.)

2)  simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3) pour into a small mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixture until fruit is blended. (you can also do this in a food processor or blender.) return to saucepan and keep on a low low simmer until ready to serve.

(i made the syrup first then cooked the french toast, and found that it thickened quite a bit more during that time.)

some people put maple extract in their syrup to get the maple flavor. i (big surprise) did not have any on hand. the best thing about this recipe is you can experiment with as many flavorings as you can come up with! i am envisioning a butter with almond extract mixture as another yummy concoction. and i’d like to try honey or even agave nector. it would be nice to substitute some of the sugar for agave nectar, but if you do that it may not thickened the same, in which case you might try adding cornstarch. (but don’t add the cornstarch directly to the syrup. put it in a jar, add a bit of water, then shake vigorously until dissolved, and then add it in; otherwise you’ll get starch lumps in the syrup.) you can also use all white sugar instead of white & brown. and if you don’t like the flavor of molasses, well, then you shouldn’t be reading my blog. just kidding. then you can omit it from the recipe. but i don’t know why you would: it contains all the nutrients that have been sucked out of white sugar during processing — plus, it makes me feel like i live on the prairie in the 1800s, and those who know me know i like that feeling. 🙂

this makes 3-4 servings. you can make a larger batch and store in the frig for weeks.

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