Make your own fruit molasses or syrup

A sticky-sweet surprise

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If you've got leftover fruit juice and the desire to have something a little different on your pancakes, try making your own fruit syrup or molasses. It's an easy (and did we say yummy?) way to keep your leftover fruit beverages long past the expiration date.

You can make a fruit syrup or molasses from just about any leftover juice (or combination of juices). They're great over pancakes or French toast or as a substitute for syrup or molasses in cookie, pastry and other recipes.

How to make a fruit molasses or syrup

First, you'll need to choose your fruit juice(s). Just bear in mind that about 4 cups of juice only yield about a cup of molasses (a bit more if you're making syrup). Almost any kind of juice makes a good molasses, and don't be afraid to experiment with combinations. These are some of our favorite flavors and combos.

  • Pomegranate
  • Grape (purple or white)
  • Apple
  • Cranberry
  • Orange
  • White grape and apple
  • Cranberry and apple
  • Cranberry and pomegranate
  • White grape and pomegranate
  • Cranberry and orange

You'll also need sugar. In general, you'll need about a 1:4 ratio of sugar to juice, though high-sugar juices may need less. For example, pomegranate juice, which has 30 grams of sugar per serving, will need a full cup of sugar for 4 cups of juice, whereas orange juice, which has almost 40 grams would only need about half a cup per 4 cups. If you're not sure, start with a ratio of 1:8; you can always add more sugar after your first tasting.

Add a small amount of lime or lemon juice if you'd like to brighten up the flavor. You can also add a bit of cornstarch (no more than 3 teaspoons per cup of juice) if you'd like to make it thicker.

Mix all the ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. (One of those little automatic stirring gadgets comes in very handy for this.) How long you have to boil it depends on the size of your pot. Using an oversized pot does make it go faster, but also makes it easier to burn. Depending on how much juice you have and whether you use cornstarch, it can take up to 45 minutes if it's a large quantity.

Quick tip! Do not burn the mixture. It will continue to thicken as it cools, so it's best to pull it off early if necessary. Otherwise, you'll end up with fruit-flavored shingle glue.

Try your fruit syrup on these pancakes

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Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix the Fish. You can follow her on Twitter @HireHeather.

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