Petimezi - Greek Grape Syrup
Serve over cakes, pancakes, scones etc. From Adventures in Greek Cooking: The Olive and The Caper by Susanna Hoffman.
SERVES 4 -16
Version 1 -yield 2 c
- 10 lbs grapes, fresh
- 4 inches piece bread, very dry (use 1 T clean ash to be authentic)
- 2 sprigs thyme (optional) or 3 mint leaves (optional) or dried chamomile (optional)
Version 2 - yield 1/2 c
- 5 cups unsweetened white grape juice
Crush grapes in a food mill and extract as much juice as possible and discard the all parts of the grape sans juice.
Transfer juice to a strainer lined with cheesecloth set over a large pot.
Allow to drain thoroughly, pressing down on the pulp occasionally until all the juice has collected in the pot - this can be done in batches if your strainer is not large enough to hold all the grapes.
Tie the ash or bread in a small piece of the cloth and submerge it in the grape juice. Place the pot on the stove and bring the juice to boil over medium heat.
Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.
Set the pot aside and let it stand overnight. (The ash brings the juice to the top and any sediment will sink to the bottom.).
The next day, remove the ask and carefully pour the clarified grape juice into a second pot, leaving all the sediment behind in the first pot.
Place the juice over medium heat, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the juice reaches the consistency of of maple syrup or molasses - 235 F on a candy thermometer or about 45-60 minutes. Do not let the liquid boil over or burn but just bubble briskly.
Allow the syrup to cool slightly and then transfer it to clean glass containers. Stir in any optional leaves now.
Store in the refrigerator indefinitely.
Bring juice to boil over medium to medium-high heat and cook until 235 F on a candy thermometer or about 1 hour.
The liquid should be dense but pourable, like honey, when cooled.