After coming across this amazing blog, I couldn’t help but be really excited about preserving all the things. Which is – in my opinion – also one of the best things a blog can do to your imagination: inspire and make you want to try things you didn’t know you could want in the first place, talking about role models.:)
So, of course, at the moment I am dreaming of strawberry marmelade (with vanilla?!) and buying all the mason jars I can find, even though our kitchen cupboards ‘might’ explode just the tiniest bit (it might have been a sign from above that the elderflower blossom was already grown into little berries when I went out for a little hunt last week, armed with scissors and a large bag).
What I did make instead was something very attainable in almost any season: I made a lemon-mint syrup, using up all of the lemons, even the skins, which added a small bitter note.
This syrup is really good when added to baked goods, especially when added to simple loaf cakes or cupcakes just after they come out of the oven (think of around half a cup of syrup poured over the hot cake).
This syrup also makes a great homemade lemonade with some fizzy mineral water or even a very posh cocktail when topped with dry sparkling wine (talking about summer evenings:)).
The fresh mint leaves already dried a little in our June kitchen, but were just as aromatic.
I can imagine this syrup to be awesome with a sprig of rosemary or even a vanilla bean as well. In any case: enjoy your summer evenings!Lemon-Mint Syrup
This makes around 1.25 liters of syrup, feel free to adjust the amounts to make a smaller batch.
- 8 organic, unwaxed lemons (or 15 limes), washed and sliced and squished in the pan
- 500 grams of water
- 5 large sprigs of mint with large leaves, whole
- 500 grams of sugar
Wash the lemons and slice them, I chose to not include the ends, as it would have been a little too bitter. Put these into a large pan and knead all with your hands to release the juices a bit already.
Add the mint sprigs and water and bring to a boil. Let this boil uncovered for around 30 minutes until the liquid is coloring a beautiful yellow (I didn’t add the sugar yet during this step, as that would lead to the lemon pieces candying rather than them releasing their flavor).
Pour all through a sieve and save the liquid. Squeeze all the lemons to release all of their juices. Bring the liquid back to a boil in the same pan and add the sugar. Let all bubble away for another 10 minutes until the mixture looks thick and clear.
Sterilize your bottle(s) by filling them up with boling water, pouring it out after 10 minutes and let it dry up in the air, without touching them by hand anymore (rather using a clean tea towel). Then carefully pour the syrup in. This syrup will stay good for a long time, but just to be safe, store it in your fridge. Due to the pectine in the lemons, the mixture will even get a little thick and gelatinous after being cooled for a long time. Just put it out of the fridge a little before you would like to use it, to ensure it dissolves easily in your drinks.