Pear syrup recipe

China Daily (USA) - - SHANGHAI - - PAULINE D LOH

• Three large Chi­nese pears, peeled (about 1 kg)

• 100 g dried ju­jubes or Chi­nese red dates

• 200 ml or­ganic honey

Seed the Chi­nese ju­jubes. The most ef­fec­tive way is to cut slightly off-cen­ter to ex­pose the sharp seed and then ease it out. This is an im­por­tant step as the seed is be­lieved to be too “heat in­duc­ing”. If you are look­ing for short­cuts, use the larger Xin­jiang ju­jubes but the tra­di­tional pre­scrip­tion calls for the tiny fruits, which are called “chicken heart ju­jubes” for their size.

Grate the peeled pears di­rectly into the pot, add the seeded Chi­nese ju­jubes and a liter of wa­ter and bring to a boil. Grated pears ox­i­dize eas­ily so it’s best to leave the grat­ing un­til you’ve fin­ished work on the ju­jubes.

Boil un­til wa­ter has re­duced by a third and then re­move from heat. Cool and strain to re­move the fruit pulp and ju­jube skins, squeez­ing with a la­dle to ex­tract ev­ery drop of juice.

Strain the syrup once more through fine muslin.

Re­turn the juice to the pot and con­tinue to boil un­til it turns dark and syrupy. If you have no pa­tience stand­ing over a hot stove, place the juices in a slow cooker and cook on medium heat un­til thick. You must check con­stantly to make sure it does not burn.

Fi­nally, stir the honey into the cooled syrup and place into ster­il­ized jars. Re­frig­er­ate. Serve by di­lut­ing a ta­ble­spoon of syrup in a teacup of hot wa­ter.

You can eas­ily ster­il­ize glass jars and caps by plac­ing them in a steamer over boil­ing wa­ter for 15 min­utes. Cool and dry com­pletely with clean pa­per tow­els.

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