Have you ever made pancakes, and then realized you don’t have any syrup? Maybe you’ve made homemade syrup and are feeling pretty crafty, yet a few days later, your syrup is just a rock hard set of crystals? This can be super frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Making this crystal free homemade maple syrup is quick, super easy, cheap, and it tastes great! Once you have this perfected syrup on hand you may not even want to buy syrup anymore. I know I don’t.
How do you get rid of those crystals?
Want to get fancy, tell someone you eliminated the crystals in your favorite recipe via the process of inversion. Or you could just say “I added lemon juice”. Personally, I prefer the fancy answer. If you’re interested in the science of it, here you go. Invert sugar is basically sugar (sucrose) that has been broken down into its base components (glucose and fructose). Invert sugar has smaller crystals. That means it gives baked goods a “smoother” texture, dissolves faster, and increases shelf life thanks to increased water retention.
There are several fancy ways to make your sugar “inverted” including buying it that way. One simple method is, indeed, adding lemon juice when cooking your syrup. You’re basically looking for the citric acid, but lemon juice is a lot more likely to be on hand, though you can buy the acid separately. I tried several different methods, including cream of tartar The lemon juice works best and lasts the longest.
So jump right in with this recipe, make your own syrup, and know, that if your kids don’t smear it all over their clothes, whatever’s left will still be usable next time!