My internship is over and that means that I am back home, enjoying the lazy life of a college student. It also means that I have a lot of free time at my hands and this time needs to be filled with cake and ice cream. Since the rhubarb season is almost over I knew that I had to get a hold of the last ones at the farmers market. There are probably a billion delicious rhubarb recipes out there but I wanted to make some syrup. That way I can enjoy rhubarb even when the season is over. I´ll just make myself a summer drink. With some syrup, soda or sparkling wine. And fresh mint and strawberries. Also essential: the balcony or the garden and sunshine! Did I mention that I absolutely love summer??
All you need in order to make syrup is fresh fruit, water, sugar, vanilla and a little time. It basically cooks itself.
For the rhubarb syrup (makes about 400 ml):
1 kg rhubarb
225 g sugar
1 vanilla bean
1) Wash the rhubarb and chop well. Let sugar and 1 liter of water boil in a pan. Add the rhubarb and let the whole thing simmer for about 30 minutes.
2) Set a fine-meshed strainer over a large bowl. Pour the rhubarb through the strainer until most of the liquid is in the bowl. Press the solids a little with the back of a spoon to extract more syrup.
3) Now the syrup needs to be thickened by boiling. Cook the syrup for another 30 minutes until it has reduced to about ¾ of the liquid. Add the lemon juice after 20 minutes. Pour the syrup into a clean bottle. Store in the refrigerator.
For the strawberry syrup (makes about 500 ml):
450 g strawberries
120 g sugar
1 vanilla bean
1) Cut the lemon and split the vanilla bean. Cut out the core. Put lemon, vanilla and 480 ml Water into a pan and let the whole thing cook for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, wash the strawberries. In a blender, mix the strawberries with the sugar until you have a smooth puree.
2) Add the strawberries to the water and let cook for another 10 minutes. Take off the stove and let the syrup cool overnight in the fridge.
3) Filter the syrup and pour into a bottle. Seal well and store in the refrigerator.