uses for pine needles

Pine Needle Syrup

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Pine syrup can be made in the wintertime from current year needles, but will have a slightly different taste than syrup made from spring cones and tips.  Syrup from needles can sometimes have a bolder taste, but still makes great syrup. Some people like to pre-boil the needles before simmering them in the syrup, but either way turns out good. You can skip that step and go straight to simmering them in the sugar water if you choose.

Process:

Snip pine needles into approximately one inch pieces, measuring to get ½ cup of needles.  Be careful to not include the needle sheath (the brown tip at the end that holds the cluster of needles together).  Place snipped needles in a pot of water and boil them for approximately 3 minutes.  This will reduce the amount of harsher tasting resin.  Strain, keeping the snipped needles, and discard the liquid.

In a pot, combine:

1 cup raw cane sugar

1 cup water

½ cup of needles

Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.  Turn off heat and let cool.  Repeat simmer and cool process twice more.  Each time syrup will get a little thicker, but never as thick as Muglio syrup made from Spring cones/tips.  Strain needles and store syrup in the refrigerator.

How to Use:

Pour over pancakes like you would maple syrup

Drizzle on soft cheeses and serve with crackers

Use as a topping for ice cream

Drizzle on whipped cream that tops a slice of apple pie

Brush slices of baked ham with it prior to serving

Dilute with water for tea (if you like sweet pine needle tea)

Add full strength to Green or Black tea as flavoring/sweetener

Make into Jelly

****Below is a pictorial of where to find the newest pine needles.

growth pattern for pine needles

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