Spicy Ginger Syrup

Spicy Ginger SyrupUhg!  Sometimes I hate how behind I get with blogging!  But, alas, ones time to deal with 5 pecks of apples is limited.  Canning, freezing, baking, testing, tasting, experimenting, and saucing.  Love it all.  If you have forgotten, I love fall.  Love it.  Love love love love it.  Jeans and a sweatshirt are my go-to outfit anyway, so bring on the weather that allows me to wear it everyday and be appropriate.  Heh heh.

And may I just say, there is something about cooking with apples that just brings out the season.  Dontcha think?  I can make apple crisp in June, but it doesn’t have the same affect on me.  Like grilling in February-mmmmmmm……nope!  Tastes good, but doesn’t make you stop and take a deep breath of outdoor air with as much pleasure as it does in July.  Also, if you are grilling outside in February and you are anywhere North and you take a deep breath, your nose hairs freeze so it is just a better idea all around to wait until summer.

Speaking of seasons, today’s recipe is a kind of bonus recipe.  Not necessarily something you will make all the time, but defiantly worth whipping up during the colder months.  The Spicy Ginger Syrup will make your house smell good, yes, but its versatility is its charm.  I can’t wait to discover how you guys and gals will use this!  I keep adding to my list (almost daily) of ways to use it up, but mixing it into drinks seems to be the hands down favorite around here.  I have gone through several versions of this recipe, trying to get the spicy/sweet balance right, and my dedicated friends have graciously been taste testing and  reporting.  It is rough living in my neighborhood, I tell ya…

This would be outrageously popular to give as gifts during the holidays.  But I wanted to share it now, because it lends itself so much to this time of year.  Make it now, and you will find ways to enjoy it all the way to New Years.
Spicy Ginger Syrup Spicy Ginger Syrup Spicy Ginger Syrup One Year Ago: Open Face Tuna Melt
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Pie Muffins & Hot Apple Cider
Three Years Ago: Apple Crisp & Remoulade Sauce

Spicy Ginger Syrup
Adapted from Martin Yan (Yes!  The Yan Can Cook guy!)
As you can see from the photos above, this stuff is just beautiful in a jar.  The everyday reality is that it sits in my fridge in an airtight rubbermaid container, looking plain and unassuming.  Oh!  How looks can be deceiving!  Please see below for the list of delicious ways to use up this golden wonderfulness!  Be sure to add your own ideas or successes to the comments!

1 c peeled and coarsely chopped fresh ginger root
2 c water
2 c sugar
pinch of cayenne (optional)

In a blender, combine the ginger and 1 c of water.  Blend until nearly smooth and pour into a medium saucepan.  Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  The ginger will have a bit of heat on its own, but the extra punch of the cayenne gives it a really nice kick. If you aren’t sure, hold off on it. You can always add it in later if you like. Heat the syrup just until the sugar is all dissolved and then remove from the heat, letting the syrup sit for 30 minutes more.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer and store in a fridge in a tightly sealed container.  This will last for months and months!  Use in any of the ways listed below, or try your own!

* Add a splash to apple cider, hot or cold

* Stir some into a cup of hot tea-BONUS! Ginger is known to settle an upset tummy!  This would be great for a sick child or expectant mommy!

* Swirl it around in a tall glass of ice tea or simply sparkling water with lots of ice-so refreshing!

* Drizzle it over vanilla ice cream

* Vodka + ginger syrup + ice = the new favorite drink in my neighborhood

* I am told it is also good with rum…

* A little bit over some roasted pears for dessert is amazing

* Stir some into your next batch of homemade applesauce

* Drizzle this over a pan of apple crisp, either before you top it with crunch and bake it, or after, just before you dig in

* Add some to your morning oatmeal