Living and eating through the seasons means one needs to enjoy the bounty while it is at its peak and preserve it. Our home, a timber summer house built in 1921 is known by the name Granbakken, which means ‘Spruce Hill’ in norwegian. It is simply appropriate that spruce tip syrup is on the agenda for local goodness. The children and their friends are more than happy to gather the ingredients for many of our concoctions 😉
Spruce has many purported benefits, and one can preserve spruce tips in a variety of ways:
- dried and combined with salt as my dear friend Louise does with a variety of plants
- made into a tincture/dram/schnapps via infusing with alcohol
- made into a pesto similar to ramsløk/wild garlic using pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and parmesan/pecorino romano
- dried and pulverized and added to a multitude of recipes
but one that we enjoy purely for the taste is syrup, and it is so simple to do!
- bring the spruce tips and water to a rolling boil
- turn down to medium high and let cook covered for 30 minutes.
- strain and measure the liquid
- for every 3 parts liquid, measure 2 parts sugar (ideally organic) you can add a splash of lemon juice for tartness if desired
- combine the spruce infusion and sugar
- bring to a rolling boil to thicken
- if using a candy thermometer bring to thread stage (230 degrees Fahrenheit – 110 degrees Celsius) if not using a thermometer, boil to reduce until is coats the back of a spoon
- remove the white scum that rises to the surface in order to get a clear syrup
- bottle and cool (note: if using corks, wet them first or they may stick in the tops of your bottles.. ask me how I know! 😉 )
- the colour will change throughout the process from a pale ivory to a pink, and deepen with time, I love that!