Shagbark Hickory Syrup
This recipe is featured in Foraged Syrups, Sweet and Wild
Shagbark hickory syrup can be used in place of maple syrup on pancakes or waffles. Use it to flavor sorbets or ice cream, in a glaze for chicken, pork, or salmon, or as a cocktail ingredient. Try mixing it with equal parts sumac-infused rum for a special treat.
- 454 grams (1 pound) shagbark hickory bark
To harvest the shagbark, break off pieces 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) long from the loose ends of the bark strips. Be sure not to only take bark that is already loose of the tree.
1. Preheat oven to 177°C (350°F).
2. Rinse off the bark to remove any debris. It’s okay to scrub the bark, but don’t use soap. Discard any pieces with lichen on them. Lichen has its own taste, and it’s neither smoky nor sweet.
3. Spread the bark pieces on a cookie sheet and roast them for 20 – 25 minutes. Transfer the bark to a large pot and add enough water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Strain the liquid and discard the bark, then measure the liquid and return it to the pot. Add an equal volume of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and whisk regularly to avoid scorching. Continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by 25 – 30%, then remove it from the heat and let it cool.
5. Pour your syrup into bottles or canning jars.