Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dulce de Epazote

I like to bring flavor discoveries to @meimeiboston to bounce ideas and experiment. I had been chewing on epazote every morning for a few days trying to decide what to do with it. I had savory on the brain until @jacquelinedole pointed us down a sweeter path.

Jacqueline's Blueberry Shortcake w/ Epazote Whipped Cream

What does epazote taste like? I find it hard to describe due to the complexity and prefer not to toss out words that would lead you in the wrong direction. I will tell you that it can be used to make tea. Just get some, taste it and understand why you can't live without it.

Sprigs of Backyard Epazote

One of our first thoughts was ice cream, but we weren't sure if the flavor would be muted. We both agreed that whipped cream was the way to go. I steeped two healthy 10" sprigs in one quart of cream to see how the flavor would take. After it came to room temperature, we tasted it. Simply amazing. It added wonderful depth to the rich dairy. By far, the best part was the flavor bursts of seeds and bits of buds. 

Epazote Suspended in Cream

I strained out the epazote while making sure the pops of flavor passed through and tasted the spent sprigs. They still had a good amount of flavor so down the waste not want not candied road we went. Jacqueline gave me the ratio using honey, but we couldn't find any. I happened upon some agave and couldn't have been happier.

Agave Candied Epazote & Bottom of the Pan Syrup
I added the epazote to the hot syrup and allowed it to cool for a bit. Then I pulled out the sprigs and arranged them on a wire rack. Of course, we had to taste the syrup. Freaking delicious! Soda was the next logical step. Jacqueline poured a lemon seltzer over ice and I stirred in the syrup. It was brilliant. Pulling out the carbonator and doing a proper soda is on our list.

Candied Epazote Syrup

  • (2) 10" long, healthy sized epazote sprigs
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c agave syrup
  • 1/2 c water
  • Add everything except the epazote to a small pan
  • Heat at medium, stir until sugar dissolves then bring it to 230F
  • Remove the pan from the heat
  • Above the pan, pull the epazote branches off the main stem
  • Rub the epazote between your hands to release the buds and seeds into the pan
  • Put the epazote into the syrup and submerge
  • Allow it to cool to room temperature
  • Remove the epazote sprigs and set them on parchment or wax paper
  • Pour the syrup through a coarse mesh strainer to remove the remaining large bits and allow the flavor pops to pass
Only eat the buds and seeds off the candied epazote because the stems are pretty tough.

As always, stay inspired and keep the ideas bouncing.

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