Candied Spruce Tips in Birch Syrup

Candided spruce tips in birch syrup will be a treat for Suzanne’s kids. Photo by Suzanne Crocker

Spruce tips will become one of Suzanne and family’s candy during their year of eating local. Miche Genest has a wonderful recipe for making Candied Spruce Tips using homemade Spruce Tip Syrup in The Boreal Feast, A Culinary Journey Through the North by Harbour Publishing. And Miche has generously allowed us to share her recipe.

However, Suzanne probably will not have access to sugar to make the syrup, so Suzanne has adapted Miche’s recipe and combined coniferous with deciduous trees to make Candied Spruce Tips in Birch Syrup. They are more ‘birchy’ than the original recipe, but still quite delicious. (And, according to 11-year-old Tess, addictive!) Before you worry about using precious birch syrup to candy spruce tips, remember, you can keep re-using the birch syrup for batch after batch. The birch syrup gradually takes on a more sprucey taste with every batch.

(And speaking of combining spruce tips and birch syrup, check out Leigh Joseph’s recipe for Spruce Tip Spritzer.

Candied Spruce Tips in Birch Syrup

Adaptation of  Miche Genest’s Candied Spruce Tips recipe from The Boreal Feast, A Culinary Journey Through the North – Harbour Publishing.  (see original recipe at bottom)

Ingredients
Equal parts spruce tips (fresh or frozen and thawed) and birch syrup.  Suggest 1-2 cups of each.

Preparation

  1. Combine spruce tips and birch syrup in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain through a sieve, shaking to remove excess liquid.  Keep birch syrup for the next batch!
  4. Spread spruce tips on a a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a food dryer tray.  Dry for 3-4 hours (150°F) or up to 6 hours (95°F) – until dry but chewy.  Store in refrigerator and use within three months.

Candied Spruce Tips and Spruce Tip Syrup

By Miche Genest

Original recipe from The Boreal Feast, A Culinary Journey Through the North – Harbour Publishing

Spruce Tip Syrup

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups spruce tips (fresh or frozen and thawed)

Bring sugar and water to the boil.  Add spruce tips, reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

Taste; if if the flavor is pronounced enough for you, strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth, bring to the boil in a clean saucepan and pour into sterilized jars.

For a bolder flavor, cool the syrup to room temperature without straining and refrigerate overnight.  Next day bring to the boil again to thin the syrup, strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth and return to the boil in a clean saucepan. Pour into sterilized jars.

Cool, refrigerate and use within a month.

Candied Spruce Tips

1 cup Spruce Tip Syrup
1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed spruce tips

Combine spruce tips and birch syrup in a small saucepan.  Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Strain through a sieve, shaking to remove excess liquid.  Keep birch syrup for the next batch!

Spread spruce tips on a a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a food dryer tray.  Dry for 3-4 hours (150°F) or up to 6 hours (95°F) – until dry but chewy.  Store in refrigerator and use within three months.