Thursday, August 28, 2008

To Make Syrup

Big home cooked breakfasts are always a favorite. I spent my elementary school days living on a farm. Eggs and potatoes were standard breakfast fare then, but special breakfasts were pancakes. Sometimes we had store bought syrup, but most of the time homemade syrup was made to top our pancakes.

Syrup is very simple to make. In its most basic form, it is only sugar and water boiled. It takes a lot of time to get homemade syrup as thick as what we've become accustomed to from the commercial variety, but often I actually prefer a thin syrup, especially for fruit syrups. The flavor just soaks into the pancake better.

What we made most when I was young was brown sugar syrup. Different flavors can be made by adding fruit or flavorings. Here are a few recipes to get you started, but don't be afraid to create your own syrups using different ingredients.

Brown Sugar Syrup
2 C brown sugar
1 C water

Bring to a boil, stirring until clear. Boil longer to thicken.

Berry Syrup
4 C berries (blackberry, raspberry, strawberry or cherry)
4 C sugar
3 C water

Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain. If you'd like it thicker, return to the stove to boil more. I usually just use it without additional boiling.

Chocolate Syrup
2 C sugar
1 quart water
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 tsp salt
2 TB cornstarch
2 TB cold water
2 tsp vanilla

Boil sugar and water 5 minutes. Mix the cornstarch and cold water together. Then add chocolate, salt and dissolved cornstarch to the sugar water. Stir until smooth and cook for three minutes. Cool and add the vanilla.

Sumac Syrup
2 C sumac concentrate
2 C white sugar

Heat to a boil and cook for three minutes.
Make your own syrup all the time, or just in a pinch to save yourself a trip to the store. Use the syrup on pancakes or mix into milk, pop, or other beverages. A bottle of homemade syrup added to a basket filled with pancake mix and other breakfast items makes a lovely gift too.


  1. I wonder if you know of a sugar-free homemade syrup recipe. My husband is diabetic and most recipes are loaded with sugar and carbs. Thanks!


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