Herb syrups are wonderful flavor essences that can be added in place of the liquid in cakes, pie filling and sorbets. They are good on all kinds of fruits and used in beverages. Make these when you have fresh herbs in abundance, their flavor and aroma will bring a brightness to fruits and desserts. The inspiration for these syrups came fromThe Herb Farm Cookbookby Jerry Traunfeld (Scribner, 2000).
SIMPLY DELICIOUS SHORTCAKES:
Old-Fashioned Berry Recipes
Makes about 2 cups
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
About 8 to 10 lemon balm sprigs or large handful of lemon balm leaves
To make herb syrup, combine water and sugar in small saucepan, place over moderate heat and bring to simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add herbs, bruising leaves against side of pan with spoon. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for at least 30 minutes or until room temperature.
Remove leaves and squeeze them into syrup to extract flavor. Pour syrup into clean bottle or jar and label. This syrup can be made ahead and kept in refrigerator for about 10 days.
If you want to keep the syrup for a long period of time, pour it into a jar or bottle leaving at least 1 inch of headspace, place on lid or cap, and label. Freeze for up to one year. Remove from freezer the night before using and allow to thaw, or place the bottle in a bowl of warm (not hot) water to thaw more quickly. Use what you need and refreeze if desired.
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