Each summer I make at least two jars of this delicious syrup, to fight winter coughs and sore throats. But why stop at ailments care? Its perfume reminds of warm summer days and its flavour is delicate and complex…absolutely unique! So with a “reduction” it becomes a rich and aromatic nectar, perfect companion for cheese, ice-cream or fruits like apples.
- Young pine cones (Pinus mugo, harvested in june-july)
- Glass jar with lid
Harvest some young cones, away from roads.
Perfect timing may be different from one year to another, depending on microclimate. Cones should be still green, with a pale shade of red and closed tight.
Fill the glass jar with cones, than cover with sugar till the edge. Close with the lid and put the jar in direct sunlight (windowsill) all summer long, shaking it from time to time. Sugar will melt along with the essential oils in the pine cones.
It might be some left sugar on the bottom of the jar: it happens when the solution is saturated.
Optional step: Ginevrine candies
Don’t waste this left perfumed sugar! You can make old-fashoined sugar candies, called Ginevrine.
Put the sugar in a saucepan, along with little amount of water (about 2 tablespoons of water for 100g of sugar) and simmer until it turns like an icing.
Remove from heat and, with a teaspoon, let small drops fall on a baking paper. Let them rest for about an hour.
When sugar solidifies it is easily removed from paper. I prefer to wait a few days, to be sure they dry well, before move them in their final jar. Humidity can cause your perfect candies melt in the jar after a few days.