This is a post I have been holding off on because it’s just not a finished project. Even more so when I realized I didn’t take enough pictures. I want you to have the opportunity to make these now and tree tips are almost to the end of their season.
Tree tips, as the name implies, are the light green ends of the branches of evergreens. I believe all mine are spruce but I’m not 100% certain. You want the tender, soft tips of the trees. While I am picking, I like to eat one now and again. First of all, it will tell me if they are tender and I think they are tasty. Kind of citrusy and earthy and green. I don’t know they taste sweeter than you’d think an evergreen would taste with a bit of a sour kick.
I have made extract and syrup from my tree tips. I had hoped to share not only those finished projects but what you can do with them. However, I haven’t gotten that far.
I thought I had pictures of the extract but I don’t. All I did for that was filled a quart jar with tree tips and covered with vodka. Not my favorite experiment but sometimes extracts are terrible straight up but awesome when added to a recipe. I keep thinking I’ll try something like sugar cookies or shortbread with this extract because I think it will be fun.
The other recipe I have played with is tree tip syrup. I was following a recipe offered by someone else. Since this was my second time out, I wasn’t as successful finding my tree tips so I didn’t have as many as called for. I had about 1/4 of what that recipe needed. But it’s an experiment so cutting to 1/4th didn’t bother me.
That recipe had you covering the tips with sugar and letting it sit. In theory, the sugar would turn to liquid.
My beautiful tree tips.
Now covered with sugar.
After a week, the sugar didn’t liquefy all the way. It’s was just soupy sugar and my tips were starting to turn yellow and brown. Afraid I was going to lose the whole batch, I added water and put it in the fridge.
It still wasn’t liquefying. So I gave up and dumped the whole thing in a pot. I added 2 cups water and another cup of sugar. I would say that I started with 1 cup tree tips and 1 cup sugar. I added maybe 1/4 cup sugar while it was still in the jar.
I brought that to a boil and then strained out the tree tips. The flavor is amazing. So I do recommend letting it sit in the first cup of sugar for a week. I had mine on the counter and it did okay but you may feel more comfortable with it in the fridge.
The original recipe had a cooking recipe with it where you used this syrup over brie cheese. I’m thinking I could eat it with anything including a spoon. It’s that good. So I don’t know what I will eventually make with this but at the moment, I’m stuck. I’ve been so busy that I don’t have time to experiment with recipes outside of all my canning. This weekend looks like it might be terrible weather so I’ll be in the kitchen and have new things for you next week.