Monday, October 14, 2013

Vanilla Bean Sorghum Syrup

sorghum_syrup1

I keep a big batch of cold brewed coffee in the fridge because we really like iced coffee, and it’s convenient in the mornings.  Nathan puts store bought caramel syrup in his, but I prefer homemade syrup.  I often make ginger syrup, vanilla bean syrup, or when the season is right a batch of gingerbread syrup.  A few years back when pumpkin spice syrup started making the rounds I made it too, but I wasn’t blown away by it.  A few weeks ago I set out to make the best pumpkin spice syrup ever and did a LOT of tweaking.  While it was pretty dang good, I felt it needed further adjusting to the spice ratios and method to truly be called “the best ever”.  When it ran out I just didn’t have the energy that night to do “recipe development”, so I decided to make a simple vanilla bean syrup.  (Side note, with as many times as I’ve made vanilla bean syrup, I can’t believe I’ve never blogged it.)

As it was simmering, I got to thinking… One of my favorite coffee shops in town, Crema, in the past has made a Bourbon Barrel Sorghum Latte.  Being a Kentucky girl, I was raised with sorghum as an alternative to honey or molasses.  I’ve used it a Pumpkin Nut Muffin recipe on the blog in the past, and mentioned putting it in steel cut oats.  The sorghum in my pantry had crystalized and needed reheating to use.  I got to thinking that I could swirl it into the vanilla bean syrup to give it another depth of flavor.  This turned out to be a spectacular idea.  I may abandon the idea of working on the pumpkin syrup recipe, because this was quicker & easier, and SO DELICIOUS!  I’ve been using it in coffee, but I oughta work on putting it to use in cocktails!  It really does just give it an extra depth of flavor, with a touch of the sweetness & flavor of sorghum.  The sorghum pairs with the vanilla bean perfectly as well.  If you can get your hands on some sorghum, I highly suggest making a batch of this!

sorghum_syrup2

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Vanilla Bean Sorghum Syrup

Yield: Approximately 1 cup of syrup

When making simple syrups like this, I always double the recipe. What you see in the photograph is this recipe doubled. I say if I'm going to the trouble, might as well double it!

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon sorghum

Directions:

Add the sugar and water to a pot. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the oily seeds from the middle and add it to the water and sugar. Add in the empty scraped pods as well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 15-20 minutes. (I sometimes simmer even longer, as I like a thicker syrup.)

Remove from heat and stir in sorghum. Cover and let cool 1 hour or longer. Strain through a mesh strainer, and pour into a storage container. Store in refrigerator. (You don't have to strain it, I just don't like adding the pods to the container as they are sometimes tricky to fish out!)

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8 Responses to “Vanilla Bean Sorghum Syrup”

  1. 1
    Jen Fisher — October 15, 2013 @ 8:15 am

    Oooh my…sorghum is one of those things that my DC-born-and-bred husband doesn’t understand. I remember eating it on cornbread growing up–I’m also a Kentucky girl!

    • Erin Wilburn replied: — October 16th, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

      Yum! Sorghum on cornbread? I’ve never had it that way, we always smushed it with butter and dipped out biscuits in it. :) Glad to meet another Kentucky girl!

  2. 2
    Leah | So, How's It Taste? — October 15, 2013 @ 8:28 am

    I’m a big iced coffee drinker too and don’t know why I’ve never attempted homemade syrups! This recipe sounds like a great one to start with. I bet the touch of sorghum is amazing!

  3. 3

    Have a jar of sorghum in my pantry I’m still looking for ways to use. This looks like a perfect solution!

  4. 4
    DEBRA DUNN — October 15, 2013 @ 10:58 am

    DEAR, ERIN I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW LONG YOUR VANILLA BEAN SYRUP WILL LAST IN THE ICEBOX??

    • Erin Wilburn replied: — October 16th, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

      When I make a double batch, it lasts perfectly well until I use it all, which is about a month or a little more.

  5. 5
    kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts — October 16, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

    Erin,
    I’ll need to keep my eyes open for sorghum. I’ve had it in the past (reading the word evokes a taste memory in my mouth) but I haven’t seen it around.
    Thanks!

  6. 6
    Beth — October 16, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

    I think you know what I think about this without me saying a word!!
    ;-)

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