Another wonderful syrup, easy to make, stores well and of course, tastes devine.
At least 3 litres of grape must, from any colour grape.
3 soupspoons of clean wood ash * (1 soupspoon per each litre must)
Begin by “cleaning” your must. Pour into a large saucepan. Add the wood ash and stir in. Bring the must to a boil. As it is boiling, grey and murky coloured froth will rise to the surface. Spoon this off with a slotted spoon.
Keep boiling until the frothing stops. This could take about an hour. Remove from the heat and leave overnight for any remaining sediment to settle.
Next morning, taking care to not disturb the settled sediment in the bottom of the saucepan, pour the must through a very fine muslin cloth, discarding the sediment left behind. Leave again to settle for 2 or 3 hours. Repeat the procedure of pouring it through the muslin into a clean saucepan, again taking care to not disturb the sediment. If you have the time and patience, repeat one more time. The clearer the must, the better the results of the syrup.
You should be left with a slightly dark coloured, clear liquid.
Begin boiling on a medium heat to reduce the liquid content to about 10 % of the original quantity.
The result should resemble a dark, slightly runny, honey.
Kept in a dark area, it can be stored in bottles or jars for many months.
Rich in iron and calcium, it can be used wherever you would use honey, but this fine syrup excels itself on pancakes!
* Use wood ash from your fireplace, making sure that no plastics have been burnt. Sieve the ash to get the finest dust. This fine ash is used to clean the must.
The ash acts as a magnet to sediment, when boiled it traps the sediment and brings it to the surface in the froth.
It is important to have a very fine muslin, or two or three layers of fine weave cloth to catch remaining sediment.
In some areas of Crete, they use the fine white, clay like soil (ασπρόχωμα) common to their area, to clean grape must.