A long time ago, I made a pile of syrup made from nothing but unfiltered apple juice. This week, we improve upon it. And in a reasonable quantity.
The pure apple syrup is totally good, but there's a brunch coming up in the MSV house, and it's going to feature condiments in a big way. So to add complexity to something already yummy, look to sunny chamomile.
The result is tart, sweet, and a little floral—in short, a total dreamboat. It's a wildly handy liquid sweetener to keep on hand because (dare I say it?) sometimes you don't want what you're making to taste of maple.
To put it to work, an easy place to start is a big slice of toast topped with Kite Hill ricotta (or plain nondairy cream cheese), pear slices, and roasted and salted pistachios. Drizzle the syrup over all that goodness and buckle up for a dead-lovely breakfast. Or snack. Or whatever.
yields 1 - 1 1/4 cups, adapted from here
1 gallon unfiltered apple juice, such as Field Day Organic brand
1/4 cup dried chamomile
1/4 tsp pure orange extract (optional)
Add chamomile to juice and let steep, refrigerated, overnight.
Strain juice and discard chamomile. Add strained juice to a pot, add orange extract, if using, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high to maintain a steady boil. Cook about one hour, or until reduced to eight to 10 oz. Reduce heat as needed as the syrup reduces to maintain your steady boil. (To measure your reduction, pour a cup of water into the pot before beginning and mark the level on the end of a wooden spoon.)
The syrup will continue to thicken a bit as it cools, and, at this level of reduction, settles at a thick, pourable syrup consistency (it does not get as thick as molasses) when stored in the refrigerator.