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Embark on a journey through Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine with our Pekmez recipe. Pekmez, also known as grape molasses, is a delightful and versatile sweetener that has been a staple in the region for centuries. This homemade recipe allows you to capture the essence of tradition while adding a touch of sweetness to your culinary creations.
To create this homemade Pekmez, gather the following ingredients:
2 kg (4.4 lbs) of grapes (typically Sultana or black grapes)
2 cups sugar
1 lemon, juiced
Follow these steps to create your own Pekmez
Prepare the Grapes:
Wash and remove the stems from the grapes. Place the grapes in a large pot and mash them using a potato masher or a similar tool.
Simmer the Grapes:
Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Simmer the mashed grapes for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Strain the Grapes:
Once the grapes have softened and released their juices, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to separate the liquid (grape juice) from the solid pulp.
Cook the Juice:
Return the grape juice to the pot and add sugar and lemon juice. Simmer the mixture for approximately 2-3 hours, or until it thickens to a syrupy consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Cool and Store:
Allow the Pekmez to cool before transferring it to clean, sterilized jars. Seal the jars tightly and store in a cool, dark place.
Homemade Pekmez can be used as a natural sweetener in a variety of dishes, from drizzling over pancakes to flavoring desserts and even as a spread on bread. Its rich, fruity sweetness adds depth to both sweet and savory recipes.
In conclusion, Pekmez is a beloved sweetener that reflects the rich culinary tradition of the Middle East and Turkey. Making your own Pekmez at home allows you to infuse your dishes with a touch of authenticity and natural sweetness.